Academic Travel Abroad

Coordinator of Academic Travel Abroad
Patricia Brennan, Ph.D.
PH 402.552.6125  TF 800.647.5500

Inspired by the belief that some of the best learning experiences cannot be duplicated in the classroom, Academic Travel Abroad (ATA) offers a student-centered, first-hand introduction to the people, arts, history and health care of Western (non-American) cultures. Under faculty guidance, ATA exposes students to other cultures, including its challenges and perspectives, while earning college credit. Guided tours include hospital visits, medical history sites and other customized tours. Free days are included to foster students’ self-directed learning skills. In conjunction with traditional ways of acquiring knowledge, experimental components such as discovery learning help transform students’ finite educational experiences into a lifetime of learning. 

ATA is designed to make responsible use of students’ limited resources (time and money). Offered between semesters, the two-week immersion experience is the keystone of a General Education core curriculum course (HC 204) and two General Education elective courses (HC 280, HC 290) for one to five hours of course credit. First time travelers must be enrolled in a course for at lest one credit hour.  Students who have successfully completed one ATA course (see courses below) may travel a second (or subsequent) time without registering for a class. Students will pay travel costs, but no additional course fees will be required. Students will sign a contract agreeing to listen to destination specific lectures, completing the pre-trip notebook and meeting with Dr. Patricia Brennan before traveling. Each course option is organized around pre-trip lectures and readings, intra-trip activities and post-trip coursework. Each student is welcome to invite a travel companion to share the learning experience. Since 1999, the Clarkson College learning community has explored Ireland, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Greece. 

ATA supports the mission, philosophy and learning objectives and outcomes for General Education. Academic Travel course descriptions follow:

HC 204 Core II: A Cultural History of the Healing Arts

Three semester hours
Core II: A Cultural History of the Healing Arts positions the history of health care within a cultural framework. The course reviews the social, intellectual and cultural history of the healing arts from ancient times to the 21st century. Not limited to the Western tradition, this approach invites the student to identify and explore the people, practices and beliefs that have shaped the healing professions. This course can be taken on campus, online or through Academic Travel Abroad.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Core I.

HC 280 International Health Care

One to two semester hours
International Health Care examines health care systems in other countries and compares them to the American health care system. Students will participate in international visits to hospitals and other historical health care sites in the country visited by students participating in the Academic Travel Abroad program.

HU 290 Special Topics in Humanities           

One to three semester hours
Taken through Academic Travel Abroad, this course provides a first-hand introduction to the historical and artistic identity shaped by a Western (but non-American) culture. Foci may include the history (people, places, ideas, events) and the arts (architecture, sculpture, literature, painting) that reflect a unique cultural identity. This ATA course may be taken in conjunction with HC 204 and/or HC 280 and may be repeated as different cultures are visited and studied.

Another Travel Option

Clarkson College also offers a collaborative academic travel experience in which students from Clarkson College, Nebraska Methodist College, and Bryan College of Health Sciences have the opportunity to experience cultural diversity and travel as well as an international view of health care through ATA 270.

ATA 270 Special Topics in ATA

This course is a team-taught variable credit course that satisfies one to three hours of General Education credit. It offers a first-hand introduction to the history, arts and health care systems of other cultures, including at least one hospital tour for students to interact with providers and educators from another system. The course may include more than one culture and may be repeated as different cultures are visited.