Thanks to Colorado College’s Block Plan, students can study on location where it makes most sense. In summer 2016 alone, CC students have 13 off-campus locales.
International Programs Coordinator Riley Merline says off-campus study enriches the CC experience in important ways.
“When students leave campus they are able to experience the topics of the course in tangible and personal ways they cannot in the classroom. Ideally, their previous coursework has prepared them to engage with the issues at hand, whether it is ecology in Ecuador, art in Paris, philosophy in Greece, research in Chicago, or economic development in India. Through immersion in a different reality they are able to build on their learning at CC and integrate new knowledge and complexity into a more nuanced understanding,” says Merline.
A course in tropical rainforest ecology will take place in Ecuador, where professors and local experts will lead field exercises in the most species-rich ecosystem on land — the Amazonian tropical rainforest. CC scholars studying Asia in Japan will tour the Yasukuni Shrine, a site that commemorates those who lost their lives while serving Japan. And, for those wishing to stay stateside, in a contemporary psychoanalysis course in Chicago, students will study Freud and discuss new approaches to understanding psychological dynamics and therapeutic action with distinguished psychoanalysts.
Typically, more than 160 students study off campus each summer, and so far, 154 have signed up this summer’s offerings. Each year, approximately 30 percent of CC students receive scholarships and other funding to assist them with the costs associated with off-campus study, which include tuition, program fees, airfare, and other expenses. Additionally, CC undergraduates are allotted a Wild Card to offset tuition costs.
Merline says students bring their personal and intellectual growth back to the classrooms at CC and faculty hone their expertise and learn with students in the new context, thereby infusing discussions with the knowledge gained elsewhere. As a result, the blocks off-campus enrich the CC experience for all students.