Iowa International Summer Institute will bring the UI classroom to Europe

By Katelyn McBride

Summer is a great time for University of Iowa students to take a couple classes and fulfill general education program (GEP) requirements to lighten their load during the academic year. Starting in summer 2011, some of those classes will be offered in Paris, London and Florence.

The Iowa International Summer Institute (IISI), a new short-term summer program offered by Study Abroad at the UI, is geared toward first-year UI students but open to any student who needs to complete general education courses.   Each course will last four weeks and fulfill three semester hours of credit.

“The nice thing about the IISI is that students can take one or two classes that will fulfill specific GEP requirements and they’ll be taught by UI professors, so the classroom experience will be familiar,” said John Rogers, assistant director of Study Abroad.

The classes will be taught sequentially and students have the option to move between locations to take a second or third course. Students may also travel independently before or after attending the institute.

Instructors of existing UI GEP classes will adapt their course abroad to take advantage of local learning opportunities.  Each class will also feature an overnight excursion during the first week of study that it is included in the cost of the program. Some of the courses that will be offered include French Civilization, Language and Society, Elements of Art and Major Texts of World Literature. There will be between six and nine classes this summer through the program.

Rogers said the chosen cities of Paris, London and Florence were based on where instructors wanted to teach and how the cities related to the content of their classes.

“We have the option of offering classes in Madrid and Rome as well,” Rogers said, but this first year none of the faculty chose those destinations. The IISI hopes to expand programs in these cities in the future.

Rogers commented that the institute is a great opportunity for UI students who have just completed their first year of study to have a productive summer abroad fulfilling academic requirements and experiencing overseas living.

“It’s the perfect way to get started on a study abroad journey,” he said.

If you are interested in study abroad programs, stop by the Study Abroad office to talk about your options with a peer adviser! We are located in 1111 University Capitol Centre.

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