New Jan Term courses offer travel, service and career experience

McDaniel College Jan Term class in Italy.
September 11, 2012

Each year, January Term at McDaniel offers the opportunity for an intensive three weeks of study, where students can explore something new, take on an internship or study abroad.

For the upcoming session, five new courses are offered in topics ranging from strategies to land an internship to affordable housing in Eastern Europe.

Teaching in Budapest, Hungary, next spring gave Jim Kunz the perfect opportunity to combine his interest in service learning with his desire to involve the Social Work department in international work. His aspirations aligned with those of alumna and trustee Barbara Thomas, who is currently stationed in Bratislava with Habitat for Humanity International and wanted to engage students in the cause. 

“35 percent of Romania’s housing stock is in a state of complete neglect and needs urgent repair, while over 25 percent of the population lives in poverty,” said Kunz, who hopes students will have the chance to reflect on their experience and discuss ways to sustain a commitment to addressing housing issues beyond the conclusion of this course.

Back on campus, Julia Jasken utilized her position as director for the new Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO) to create a Jan Term course that would augment the center’s purpose. She co-developed the class with Amanda Blankenship, associate director of Internships and Career Development, to assist students in identifying unique internship opportunities that will help them succeed in reaching their career goals.

“The CEO team is working hard to increase the number of high-value, local internships available to students in Carroll County, and we're in the process of developing a fabulous experiential learning database to assist with this process. Connecting these new initiatives to a new Jan Term offering made perfect sense to us,” said Jasken.

New Jan Term courses include:

GNI 1136 Discovering Berlin
Karen Hamilton, director of Student Academic Support Services

This course will expose students to the abundance of culture in Germany’s capital. A highlight of the trip is a private tour of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, followed by a chance to talk with several Foreign Service officers, including the U.S. Ambassador.

IDS 1156 Greece: Myths, Monks and Monuments
Thomas Falkner, provost

This study trip offers an intensive introduction to the history and culture of ancient Greece primarily though its material remains. Students will study and visit a broad range of significant monuments, museums and archaeological sites, traveling to Athens, Corinth, Crete, Delphi, Olympia, Santorini and more.

IDS 2140 Landing that Internship
Julia Jasken, director of Center for Experience and Opportunity 

This course walks students through the process of researching and applying for internships and provides them with strategies for succeeding in the workplace. In the process, students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of post-graduate opportunities and focus on their own professional interests and future career goals.

SWK 2140 Building the Global Village
Jim Kunz, associate professor of Social Work
Barbara Thomas, college trustee and Global Village team leader

This study trip will take place in May instead of January. It will provide an opportunity for students to both learn about the global dimension of poverty housing and contribute to its solution. Students will begin the course in Budapest, Hungary, to study public and private responses to affordable housing, and then travel to Romania to work with the Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village Program, contributing to the construction, renovation and repair of homes.

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