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In this, the 25th year in which Lafayette has offered concentrated, three-week courses abroad during January’s interim session between regular semesters, nearly 170 students took seven courses around the world.

Many of the students studied abroad without payment of program costs as a benefit of being a Marquis Scholar.

Lafayette’s academically rigorous interim-session courses are taught by professors who are well-suited by virtue of their experience and expertise. In many of them, the students meet and speak with prominent business people, cultural figures, government officials, and academics, learning directly from these experts about the subject matter they are studying in the foreign nations.

Selected from among Lafayette’s top applicants, Marquis Scholars receive an annual minimum award of $12,500 (totaling $50,000 over four years) or a grant in the full amount of their demonstrated need if the need is more than $12,500.

Here is a listing of January’s interim-session abroad courses:


Modern Sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya and Tanzania. Taught by Rexford A. Ahene, associate professor of economics and business and coordinator of the Africana Studies program, and Kofi Opoku, visiting professor of religion.

This course is designed to offer three weeks of practical exposure to Africa’s precarious balance between traditions and modern developments, in the expression and interpretation of its social culture, music, art, literature, economic development, and politics. It includes an interdisciplinary examination of issues and policies for managing natural resources, economic and cultural transition, appropriate technology, and sustainable development in East Africa.

“This course is different from anything I’ve done before. I see it as a chance to experience and study something new and unfamiliar.
“In my opinion, the interim trip is the greatest advantage of being a Marquis Scholar. Overall, the Marquis program is very good in that it also provides academic-based financial aid, a number of special events during the year – including day trips to New York City, dinners and luncheons on campus, and a weekend trip.”

Adam Buchwalter of Bayside, N.Y., is a junior Marquis Scholar double majoring in history and anthropology & sociology


Turkey/Anatolia: The Cradle of Civilizations. Taught by M. Erol Ulucakli, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Ralph L. Slaght, James Renwick Hogg Professor of Philosophy.

This course critically examines the Hellenic, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods in Anatolia from cultural and artistic viewpoints. Turkey, or Anatolia, has seen the rise and fall of many civilizations. The course focuses on three of these civilizations, the Greek, Byzantine, and Ottoman, which have left clear and lasting impressions, both architecturally and artistically on the region of Anatolia and on the history and development of Western civilization. Numerous sites of historic, architectural, and artistic importance in and around Izmir and Istanbul are studied through visits and on-site lectures.

“When most people think about studying abroad, they think of Europe or Australia or something like that, but I was looking to go somewhere I may not normally have an opportunity to go in my life, and the course seemed very interesting insofar as its focuses on ancient architecture and art. It’s an opportunity to round out my education and dive into a new culture and experience it first-hand.
“The interim course is definitely one of the biggest benefits of being a Marquis Scholar, because it allows us to truly expand our academic spectrum.”

Christopher Lohr of Coral Springs, Fla., is a sophomore Marquis Scholar majoring in civil engineering


The London Theatre. Taught by Michael C. O’Neill, Lafayette’s director of theater, and Suzanne R. Westfall, associate professor of English.

The rich tradition of the English-speaking theater is continually affirmed by the excellence and variety of theatrical productions in the United Kingdom. Students attend 10-12 plays in Dublin (at the Abbey and fringe theaters) and in London (at The National, RSC, West End, and fringe theaters). The course focuses on the literary and performance aspects of Shakespeare and modern plays, with special emphasis given to post-colonial influences on playwriting and staging both in Dublin and London.

“I decided to take the London Theatre course to take advantage of the opportunity to visit another country. I want a chance to get out and experience things another country and the atmosphere it holds. This course will round me out and expand my education, rather than building on previous experiences.
“I think interim abroad is a great benefit for Marquis Scholars, allowing us to expand beyond textbooks and notes to learn about other cultures and disciplines. The Marquis program aims to reach above the excellent educational experience we get at Lafayette to an even higher level of learning and growth.”

Ryan Evans of Reading, Pa., is a sophomore Marquis Scholar majoring in biochemistry

The Land and Landscape of Ireland. Taught by Joseph J. Martin, associate professor of English, and Jack Truten, visiting lecturer in English

This course examines the many ways in which the land of Ireland has figured in Irish history and the Irish imagination. The history of Ireland centers on definitions of the land as an economic, political, and symbolic–even religious–value. Using written sources culled from Irish history, ethnography, politics, and literature, along with some guest lectures, and an extensive field program in the Boyne Valley, Galway, Donegal, Dublin, and Belfast, the instructors take students on an exploration of the shifting Irish landscape.

The Open Wall and the New Europe of the 1990s: Berlin, Prague, and Munich. Taught by Rado Pribic, Oliver Edwin Williams Professor of Languages and chair of the International Affairs program, and Robert I. Weiner, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of History

With the opening of the Berlin Wall, Germany and the rest of Europe are facing rapid political, social, and economic changes. The course reexamines the events leading to two world wars, the division of Europe, and the new European reality in the 1990s. Through visits to historical sites, meetings with people in East and West, readings, and class discussions, students obtain an understanding of the events and ideologies that made history and today’s new reality in Europe.

“I have many different interests, and an interim course abroad allows me to explore some of the historical and cultural interests that I have not been able to pursue. This course deviates from my curriculum of science and math courses and allows me to learn about another culture through history. I can gain an understanding of the past and its effect on the present in Europe by visiting the historical sites. The people and places will be all around me.
“I definitely believe an interim course is a great benefit of being in the Marquis Scholars program. The Marquis program helps attract stellar high school students. Interim courses, other trips during the semester, and the financial scholarship are additional perks that sweeten the experience of a college student. I have enjoyed and benefited from my experiences as a Marquis Scholar.”

Stacey Cromer of Dillsburg, Pa., is a sophomore Marquis Scholar majoring in chemistry

Choral Music: Window to Culture. Taught by Nina Gilbert, director of choral activities, and Katherine Furlong, access services librarian

Students travel to five of Europe’s grand capital cities, Vienna, Helsinki, Tallinn, Budapest, and Bratislava, rehearsing and performing in interactive concerts with local host choirs and conductors. Their concert tour is enhanced by cultural and historical studies, including talks by guest speakers on history, politics, architecture, religion, and language, in addition to specialized musical topics.


Exploring South America: Brazil, the River Plate, and the Andes. Taught by George M. Rosa, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures, and Michael S. Jordan, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures

This course involves travel to such destinations as Quito, Cuzco, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, and São Salvador (Bahia) to investigate the cultural development of South America from pre-Columbian through modern times. Students study Inca, colonial, and post-colonial society, architecture, and art, visiting archeological sites, museums, churches, and other places of interest. Historical and sociological readings and literary texts include such major authors as El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Machado de Assis, and Jorge Luis Borges.

“I decided to take this interim course because I thought it would be interesting to expand my knowledge of cultures besides my own and provide me with a good opportunity to visit places I might not otherwise ever get to see. I really like the fact that we are going to a lot of places. The course allows me to take a course which I might otherwise never get to take without interfering with my regular semester academic schedule.
“I think this is a great benefit of being in the Marquis Scholar program and was a big factor in my decision to come to Lafayette instead of the other schools where I was accepted. I really like the opportunities the Marquis program allows such as the trips and cultural programs.”

Holly Feret of Sayreville, N.J., is a sophomore Marquis Scholar majoring in neuroscience

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