IU East students travel to study abroad in France, Belize

May 5th, 2011

Indiana University East students will study abroad through two different courses this May. Separate educational opportunities have been planned for France and Belize.

Julien Simon, assistant professor of World Cultures and Languages, is leading the trip to France so that students may experience the country’s culture and history first-hand. The trip is May 7-15 and includes Paris, Verdun, Lyon, and Versailles.

Students on the trip are enrolled in this spring’s course on contemporary French culture. While on the trip, IU East students will have the opportunity to explore some of the most relevant events in the 20th and 21st Century French history, literature, visual arts, and cinema.

Simon said through the course and the trip, students will be provided with a “cultural map” of France that will help them better understand and appreciate the values and cultural tastes of French people.

In addition to experiencing first-hand the culture of modern day France, students will visit Verdun (the site of the longest World War I battle and the epitome of the horror that unfolded during that conflict) and Lyon (the birthplace of cinema and France’s capital of gastronomy) as well as many places and events in and around Paris. This includes group visits to The Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, The Louvre, and a performance of Eugène Ionesco’sBald Soprano” among other things.

Neil Sabine, associate professor of biology, will lead the trip to Belize from May 16-28. The first week students will study the rainforest and Mayan Ruins. During the second week, students will research mangroves, coral reefs and the culture.

The first week of the trip, students will stay at La Milpa Field Station where they will have morning and night hikes to study native birds, insects and plants; observe the tropical forest; and experience the cultures of Belize. Students will visit the Mestizo village in which residents will prepare a meal and s share their culture and medicinal practices. They will also visit the Lamanai Maya and La Milpa Archaeological sites.

The second week, the group will stop in Belize City to visit the Belize Zoo on their way to stay in South Water Caye.  They will stay on the small island of South Water Caye for the remainder of the trip in order to study marine ecology; examine mangroves and coral reefs; visit Man-O-War Caye Bird Sanctuary; and snorkel at Tobacco Caye and Whale Shoal.

Students will blog about their experiences while abroad at iue.edu/studyabroad/blog.

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