WHAT IS AN EL SEMINAR and
WHY CHOOSE THIS ONE?
An EL is an Allegheny College faculty-guided Experiential Learning study abroad Seminar (EXL 594) for 3 weeks in summer, from late May to mid-June. The intensive mandatory pre-departure academic sessions, during the spring semester prior to our travel, prepare you to become knowledgeable about the course theme and the historical and cultural aspects of the regions we will visit. We will be covering academic and journalism reports related to the course theme. There will be guest lecturers as well who will share their expertise on the topics. Some are Allegheny College professors and others are professional experts and researchers from across the world who will be video conferencing with the class.
Because of COVID-19, we deferred the "Wars & Waterways" EL seminar to the summer of 2022 and will continue to monitor and update plans as we move ahead. You will earn 4 academic credits for the EXL 594: "Wars & Waterways" that count towards the 128 credits required for graduation. Assignments cover pre-departure assignments and research, the travel journal and on-site intercultural activities, and re-entry reflective assignments and presentations.
For the cost of a regular Allegheny College course, your Summer EL Seminar covers tuition, international flights, in-country flights and costs of travel in the three countries (including cruises, private coaches, sampans, cyclos, tuk-tuks, etc.), lodging, all breakfasts and dinners (and some lunches), and all the excursions, interactions, and activities on the itinerary. What's more, you return in mid -June and that gives you time enough on your return, to pursue a summer internship or research opportunity!
What makes this a unique and outstanding Allegheny experience is that you will be traveling with a select team of your peers across all disciplines and years of study, & you benefit from the knowledge & insights of Allegheny College faculty, not a commercial third-party provider.
WHY SELECT THE WARS & WATERWAYS EL?
The "Wars & Waterways" EL seminar helps you see how multiple histories overlap in shaping contemporary global issues. From understanding the impact of multiple invasions and border wars that have left their cultural legacies in the countries we will visit, to exploring the environmental effects of global warming and the resulting "water wars" as the Mekong river itself becomes contested territory, this EL shows us the interconnectedness of international actions across geopolitical lines.
Click here to see, for instance, how the toxic fallout from the spraying of chemical Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, has left a devastating global health trail across that country, as well as other parts of the world, including the U.S., where the American multinational conglomerate DOW Chemicals has continued to contaminate water bodies with the devastating chemical leaving behind generations.
See also: The Poison Papers, which is a project of The Bioscience Resource Project and The Center for Media and Democracy. The “Poison Papers” represent a vast trove of rediscovered chemical industry and regulatory agency documents and correspondence stretching back to the 1920s. Taken as a whole, the papers show that both industry and regulators understood the extraordinary toxicity of many chemical products and worked together to conceal this information from the public and the press. These papers will transform our understanding of the hazards posed by certain chemicals on the market and the fraudulence of some of the regulatory processes relied upon to protect human health and the environment.
We have very unique and enjoyable cultural activities and excursions on our itinerary -- from sampling floating markets, watching sunrises over ancient temple ruins, spending time with hill tribes, cruising tranquil bays and splashing in waterfall pools, to sampling tastebud-tingling cuisines/culinary classes, learning how to ride farming buffalos, and tracking elephants in the forest.
Simultaneously, this EL seminar is a serious investigation of how our actions in other parts of the world not only leave their mark over there, but also return to roost, attesting to how the local and global intersect to produce what award-winning journalist and author Thomas Friedman has called the 'glocal'.