Jan Term offers exploration, education and service

Jan Term offers exploration, education and service

Dec. 18, 2015

Whether it’s studying the architecture of Rome or the evolution of American football, LaGrange College students will be expanding their horizons during the 2016 Interim Term.

Also known as Jan Term, the interim falls between fall and spring semesters. Courses are designed to encourage students to discover topics outside their majors. Classes include on-campus projects, independent research, internships and study-travel experiences.

Dr. Sarah Beth Mallory, Associate Provost for General Education and Global Engagement, said the term is exciting for both professors and students.

“Everyone has the opportunity to explore something different,” she said. “And of course it’s always fun for those who are traveling.”

Jan Term This year’s international destinations include Italy, Ecuador and the Philippines.

“We have four classes who are traveling together to Italy,” she said. “They’re studying the culture, values and traditions of family firms in Italy; art and architecture of Rome and Florence; photography in Italy; and the wonder of Renaissance Florence and the glory of Rome.”

Professors distributed reading lists and assignments before the holidays. After returning to campus, the students will attend preparatory classes for a few days before leaving for Italy.

“They will meet together for those classes. Every day, a professor will present a lecture about his or her topic,” Dr. Mallory said. “This a great opportunity for all of the students to learn a little about the other courses offered on the trip.”

Destinations in Italy include Florence, Rome and Naples, with an optional side trip to Sienna.

Students who travel to Ecuador will be working with the Servants in Faith and Technology organization.

“They have a place in Alabama where students experience firsthand what it would be like to live in a Third World village,” she said. “Our group will do that, as well as help build a Bible school in Ecuador and study local businesses.”

In the Philippines, students will be continuing an ongoing missions project affiliated with the United Methodist Church’s Bridges initiative.

Jan Term The ecology and culture of Hawaii will be explored by another group.

“They will study the culture of the native Hawaiians, and what is still left of it,” Dr. Mallory said. “They’ll also examine the ecology of the rain forest and will spend a day helping remove invasive species from the forest.”

A focus on the homeless of Hawaii is also a part of the trip, with another day devoted to service work with the homeless.

On campus, courses will run the gamut of learning about poverty and homelessness to the culture of Korea.

Dr. Mallory said the college is looking at ways of making study-away accessible to all students.

“Of course, we have the $2,500 travel voucher that is provided to first-time, first-year students for an off-campus travel experience their junior or senior year,” she said. “We’re very excited that the cabinet has allocated in the projected 2017 budget funds that will support travel opportunities for transfer students. Details are still being worked out, but we are very happy about that.”

Study-away destinations scheduled for 2017 will include London, China, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Berlin, Paris, Spain, Thailand and Italy. In May of 2017, a travel course will be offered to study Ancient Greece’s education, sports and society.

For more information about the Interim Term, contact Michele Raphoon at  mraphoon@lagrange.edu  or visit  www.lagrange.edu/janterm . Current students may go to  http://passport.lagrange.edu  for information about registering for 2017 courses.

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