Meredith Abroad in Iceland- Summer 2012
Imagine yourself on an island the size of South Carolina with more volcanoes than the continental United States and fewer people than Wake County. You are lodged near a village of about 500 people, at a school that has been in continuous existence since 1056 AD, at a church that has been the center of Icelandic culture, history and religion since the turn of the first millennium. Within 50 miles of your room and classes are geysers, the largest waterfall in Europe, natural hot springs, three (quiet) volcanoes, astonishing nature trails and hiking, the North Atlantic Ocean, and more puffins than anywhere in the world.
You are only about an hour from the capital city of Reykjavik, home to 250,000 people and as cosmopolitan as any capital in Europe. Then imagine that for the entire four week term it does not ever get dark. This will be the setting for Meredith in Iceland.
You will be required to take six hours credit in the two courses listed below. Credit will be awarded in History or English (literature elective), and in Cultural perspectives/Cultural Elective or Aesthetics and the Arts.
Successful completion of the program will also satisfy your Global Perspectives requirement for General Education.
IDS 941: Arts, Artifacts and Culture (Grathwohl, Novak, YOU!)
An introduction to the remarkable culture, social life, and language of Iceland, based upon arts, artifacts, and presentations by several native Icelanders. You will engage Icelandic culture through several interactions with local families, through formal and informal language lessons with Icelanders, through literary, visual and musical arts and artifacts, and through your own independent travel time. Beyond this core, you will be able to shape the remainder of your cultural experience to fit your own interest in areas such as history, contemporary politics, women’s and environmental issues, social justice and diversity, education, music, art and so forth. Principal assignment is an in depth journal. Required of all students. Level 300-400. Credit 3 hours.
Aesthetics and the Arts or Cultural Perspectives.
ENG/HIS 941: Life on the Edge: Themes in Icelandic History and Literature
From the original Viking settlements in the late 800’s to the present day, the experience of Icelanders has been defined by living on the edge. Their island lies on the western periphery of European society, and their culture reflects both their frontier conditions and their distance from developments in Europe. Iceland is a very young island, created by a still-active geothermal hotspot at the edge of two separating continental shelves.
Located on the edge of the Arctic Circle, it has dramatic seasonal change but a climate barely hospitable to humans, their crops, and their animals. These conditions have placed Icelanders on the edge of survival for most of their history, making them exceptionally aware of their relation to each other, to natural forces, and to other elements of their environment. Icelanders have overcome these challenges to emerge in the 20th century as a modern nation on the cutting edge of environmental and social policy. Young Icelanders travel throughout the world but almost never choose to emigrate.
This course will take students on a remarkable journey through the literature and history of the Icelandic people. Beginning with the Viking sagas of exploration and early settlement life and ending with 20th century Nobel Prize winning author Halldor Laxness, Drs. Grathwohl and Novak will use history to understand literature and literature to illuminate history. Icelandic films will enhance this rich narrative of thought and experience.
We will also use our part of the island as an outdoor classroom, visiting museums and exhibits as well as outdoor archaeological and historic sites along the famous Saga Trail. Level: 300-400; Credit: 3 Hours
History (Cultural Perspectives) or English (Literature elective).
On Your Own
You will have leisure time to use as you please. The urban scene in Reykjavik? Extreme or gentle hiking and camping? Music? Sports? Cycling? Kayaks? Hidden people and trolls? An interior landscape so much like the moon that Apollo 13 astronauts trained there? The glacier with supernatural powers? Geothermal spas that heal all that ails you? You will not even begin to exhaust the possibilities.
Dr. Michael Novak, Professor of History
Dr. Eloise Grathwohl, Professor of English
PROGRAM DATES: June 1 - July 1, 2012(tentative)
The estimated base cost is $5,900* This price covers essentially all costs in Iceland: all meals, tuition, lodging, museums and historic sites, horseback riding, oceangoing bird and geology tours, group weekend expeditions and much more.
Additional pre-departure costs of $1330 include your passport, ISIC card, books, emergency cell phone and airfare. Your independent travel weekend will cost you roughly another $250, while most students spend about $100 on gifts.
Your total: about $7,580.
For more information on expenses please click here.
*This estimate is based on a conservative exchange rate so that we , ideally, will not have to ask for more money. Should the exchange rate shift significantly, we may adjust this price downward after final program arrangements are solidified. Our job is to monitor. Yours to hope!
Scholarships and financial assistance are available. Contact the office of International Programs for further information.
Students must be in good academic standing (2.0 minimum GPA)
February 1, 2012
For additional information, contact:
Dr. Michael Novak
History and Political Science
Meredith reserves the right to make changes to the program itinerary, schedule, cost, academic program, etc., as necessary.