Students from four different courses will be embarking on experiential learning trips during Reading Week in February 2020.

Religious Studies students from Rome and the Christian Tradition, RS 2352G, led by Dr. Mark Yenson, Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, will travel to Rome. The group of 11 students will spend a full week in the city, encountering the historical and artistic heritage of Western Christianity in Rome, visiting early Christian catacombs, the Vatican, and many historical sites off the beaten track. The students will also visit the city of Assisi, home of the medieval reformer St Francis, and a major centre for pilgrimage and inter-religious understanding.

“The trip will give students a vivid and concrete experience of how religious cultures and spiritualties have developed and interacted in history and today. They will witness how religious traditions and socio-political perspectives are embodied in material culture, including sculptures, paintings, buildings, and city streets. For many of our students, the experience of Rome brings to life what they have been studying in Religious Studies, literature, history, and philosophy,” says Dr. Yenson.

Thirteen students in Globalization and Citizenship, SJPS 3201G, will be going to the Dominican Republic with Dr. Tom Malleson, Assistant Professor of the Department of Interdisciplinary Programs, and Klaire Gain ‘14, Lecturer of the Department of Interdisciplinary Programs. 

The Social Justice and Peace Studies students will engage with community organizations in Rio Blanco about the response to the challenges of sustainability, climate change and political pressures for land extraction and exploitation. They will also spend time at Asociacion Scalabriniana Al Servicio De La Movilidad Humana (ASCALA) in San Pedro, learning about issues relating to citizenship and human trafficking issues. They will visit a local sugar-cane plantation to discuss issues of forced labor and exploitation, as well as community organizing and support. 

Gain says the trip will “allow students to connect knowledge learned within the classroom to lived experiences of communities in the Dominican Republic. Students will develop a stronger understanding of the impacts of neoliberal policies and globalization on ecologies and communities while also witnessing successful community-led resistance. Through this, students have an opportunity to create relationships of international solidarity and recognize opportunities to promote social justice on a local and global context.”

Global Commerce students in International Commercial Mission Application, MOS 3390B, led by Dr. Sergio Janczak, Associate Directior of The School of Mathematics, Economics, and Management (MEM), and Lydia Li, Program Manager to The School of MEM will be travelling to France and Spain. As part of their 10-day trip, the group of 14 students will be visiting local businesses, plants, innovation centres, and business schools. There will be a presentation at the Toulouse Business School (France) with a guest speaker from Airbus and the students will share a class with MSc Program Students: Cross Cultural Management at the Toulouse Business School (Barcelona).

“We hope students will develop global business thinking strategies and expand their horizons in better understanding business theories and practices,” says Li.

Political Science students will travel to Ethiopia as part of the Ethiopia Field Course, POL 3318G, led by Drs. Erin Hannah, and Thomas Tieku, Associate Professors in the Department of Political Science. Studying international organization and global governance from an African perspective, the 20 students will meet with officials and representatives working in various international organizations including the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, various non-governmental organizations, and national embassies located in Ethiopia. The group will also visit the ancient city of Axum near the borderlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea and learn first-hand about the intersections of governance, power, security, development, diplomacy and economics.

“In addition to taking a seven week in-class course on research design, these students are undertaking original field research in Sub-Saharan Africa on various topics sustainable development, security, gender, climate change, trade, finance, poverty reduction, food and hunger. This is an opportunity that is unmatched at the undergraduate level anywhere in Canada,” says Professor Hannah.  You may see the video of King’s 2016 trip to Ethiopia at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBOUlv8rUXM.

King’s supports faculty-led experiential learning with the International Experiential Learning Award. Students who are full-time can receive up to $1000 per trip ($500 for part-time students) with a maximum of $2000 available over the course of their degree. For more information on these awards, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/current-students/money-matters/scholarships-awards-and-bursaries/.

We wish all our students and faculty “bon voyage” as they embark on these exciting experiential learning trips. You will be able to follow along on their journeys on King’s social media @kingsatwestern, @kingsrome and @kingspolisciglobal (Facebook and Instagram) and @kingspolisci (Twitter).