Mount Mercy University is offering several courses over J-Term 2011 that encompasses trips overseas, including the business course "European Union: Culture Politics, and Economics" and the social work course "Social Welfare: Worldview."
Professor of Business Janice Reily and Assistance Professor of Business Tracy Tunwall will escort 15 Mount Mercy students in the European Union class through a European tour that includes trips to London, Paris and Brussels. The class will leave on January 8 and return on January 20.
During the trip, the students will be able to participate in a seminar with London businessmen regarding European Union regulations for business and currency exchange rates, as well as visit the American Embassy Trade Office for a briefing on a U.S. company's issues with operations in France and Europe.
In addition to these unique learning experiences, the students will be able to take guided tours of Parliament, Windsor Castle, and a walking tour of Paris and Brussels. Sights will include St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London, the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Notre Dame, the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower.
Associate Professor of Social Work Joni Howland and Director of International Programs Catharine Cashner will accompany nine students from the Social Welfare class to England, leaving January 7 and returning January 23. The group will work to expand Mount Mercy's already strong partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU).
The class will spend approximately two weeks in Canterbury, visiting local social service agencies, attending on-campus lectures with the faculty of CCCU's social work department, and touring cultural sites throughout Southern England, such as Dover Castle and White Cliffs of Dover, London, Stonehenge, Salisbury, and Canterbury Tales Museum.
The trips will provide students with a better understanding of global issues and cultural diversity, giving them a competitive edge in their careers, as employers increasingly look for candidates with international awareness.
"We hope the students will return with new ideas and perspectives. They can see their culture through new eyes, and that will stay with them the rest of their lives," says Tunwall. "Students with trans-national experience can be of additional interest to employers, as they will have a more informed and accurate perspective on world issues."
"Observing social welfare in other countries enhances students' understanding of our own social welfare institution, its limitations and merits," says Howland. "Going outside of what we already know helps all of us realize there are multiple ways to address social issues."