This summer 8 Meredith students along with their intrepid faculty leaders, Michael Novak and Eloise Grathwohl, will be headed to Skalholt, Iceland. Skalholt is a village of fewer than 50 people, but it has been the cultural and spiritual capital of Iceland for over 1,000 years; the historic church and school will be the two places where the Meredith group is spending the majority of their time. The program will leave May 27 and return June 26. Michael Novak’s personal travel to Iceland with his family inspired him to develop this program.
The students will be taking part in two courses: IDS 941: Arts, Artifacts and Culture of Iceland and ENG/HIS 941: Life on the Edge: Themes in Icelandic History and Literature. In the IDS course, students will be learning about the culture of Iceland in a variety of ways including spending time on a weekly basis with a local Icelandic family and trading English language lessons for Icelandic language lessons with a local college student. In the other course, students will look through the lenses of both history and literature to begin comprehending the island of Iceland and its people.Students, through their courses and free time, will have the chance to explore Iceland. Their time investigating may involve going to the capital of Reykjavik, enjoying the numerous natural wonders of the island including volcanoes, geysers, and waterfalls, or engaging in activities such as hiking, kayaking, and cycling. While the group is in Iceland, they will be able to enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight every day – they may need it in order to take advantage of all that Iceland offers.