The SHSU chemistry and English departments are offering elective courses next summer that allow students to study abroad in Europe.
Professor of chemistry Dr. Rick White is presenting students a chance to travel to Germany and France for two weeks in May for three hours of credit. The course, an upper level class titled CHM 495, “Discoveries in Chemistry in Textiles,” will allow students to witness the history of chemistry’s influence on the fashion world.
White said the course is open to all students regardless of their major, and the only prerequisite is having taken one semester of chemistry.
“It gives the student advanced hours and credit and also covers the cultural elective,” White said.
Students will spend two weeks on a six-city tour of Germany and France. Arriving in Frankfurt on May 18, students will travel by train to Rothenburg, Wrzburg, Munich, Heidelberg and Freiberg in Germany and then finally to Paris.
During this time, White will teach the students about the history of science in Germany and how award-winning German scientists perpetuated the creation of polymers and artificial fabric like rayon and imitation silk, which eventually was put into use in the Parisian fashion business.
“We’ll talk about where they lived, how they won the Nobel Prize and how their work affects society today,” White said.
While in Germany the students will visit numerous historic locations such as universities and the Black Forest. While in Paris they will see the Louvre museum along with the Paris fashion district where many world renowned clothing designers utilize the scientific breakthroughs made by German chemists.
The only grade requirement for students on the trip is to write a paper upon returning to America on May 31 about their experiences.
“This is not going to be a hard core chemistry course. We’re just going to talk about how it affects us,” White said.
The cost of the trip is $2,200, which White said covers the flight to and from Europe, all train travel, all hotels and one meal every day. White said the students are free to explore around town and make their own lunch and dinner arrangements. The fee for the trip will be collected in installments so students will not have to pay full price all at once.
White said the International Studies Office provides scholarships for students traveling abroad and can pay $650 toward the cost of the trip. The office will reward scholarships based on students’ grade point averages. White added that the deadline to receive the scholarship is Nov. 25, but that it will be offered again in the spring.
White devised the course with his wife, Dr. Janis White based on a combination of their interests, his in chemistry and hers in textiles. He said there are currently 10 students, and most are not chemistry majors or minors.
“It’s a more broad based course, so you’ll get more broad based students,” White said.
In the English department, visiting assistant professor of English Dr. Christie Fox is offering students two three-week courses that run concurrently and allow them to visit Ireland.
The classes are ENG 487, 20th Century Literature of England, Ireland and the Commonwealth, and ENG 475, Studies in Irish Culture and Literature. Together they will count toward six hours advanced hours, and students must sign up for both courses.
Fox and students will travel to Galway, the site of the Galway Arts Festival, a major international event that offers theater, visual art, dance humor and other artistic productions from Ireland and around the world.
“I think the trip is a wonderful opportunity for Sam students,” Fox said. “It broadens their horizons, and allows them to be more than a tourist.”
Fox has traveled to Ireland numerous times since 1987, and lived in the country for three years. She has been going to Galway since 1991, and this is the second summer the class has been offered.
Students will study at the National University of Ireland at Galway, but will also get a chance to participate in the arts festival, a first for SHSU students.
Students must have completed ENG 164, 165 and 265 in order to be eligible. The trip will last from July 11-31 and costs $1850 if sharing a room or $2000 with a private room. Cost includes housing, all excursions Internet access while abroad, guest speakers airport transfers and other expenses.
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