Master of Liberal Studies

Study Away

BEYOND DALLAS... "The world is a great book, and those who do not travel see only one page." St. Augustine

TRAVEL TO HOLOCAUST SITES IN POLAND

An annual two-week Holocaust trip to Poland is a cornerstone of the program. Rick Halperin, who has visited sites in Poland regularly since 1983, began leading SMU students, faculty, staff and community members there in 1996. During each journey, as many as two dozen participants visit concentration camps, death camps and memorials throughout the country, where, during World War II, more than one-third of all Holocaust victims were murdered during the Nazi occupation.

The trip to Poland in early winter is by design--to gain a visceral understanding of what Holocaust victims and survivors experienced while appreciating the significance of one's own family and loved ones during the holiday season.

The Poland trip takes place every year from December 18-30th

Learn more about the Poland trip. E-mail saikman@smu.edu for 2014 itinerary and application! Applications for partial travel scholarships for SMU students are available.

Contact MLS at mls@smu.edu if you have any questions on the above study abroad trips.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

International Conflict Engagement: Prevention,  Engagement and Peacebuilding

Dates: June 21 - 27th, 2015

Course Description:

The study of conflict engagement in an international context can be framed in many ways.  For this study abroad course we will look at the issues related to conflict engagement in a chronological spectrum that runs from what John Burton once called “prevention” - work done before overt or physical conflict breaks out - through “engagement” during times when conflict is live and ongoing, to “peacebuilding” or “capacity building,” done when hot conflict has concluded or paused. 

The course will begin with a weekend session at SMU-in-Plano and conclude with a  week in Geneva, Switzerland, visiting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international intervention offices. 

Topics discussed in the Plano session and in the visit to Geneva will include approaches to direct intervention, the relationship of dispute resolution theory to actions in international conflict engagement, and the challenges of working in day-to-day high stress environments.

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA and DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

Protracted Identity-Based Conflict: Ties that Bind and Divide
Dates: June 28 - July 5th, 2015 

Course Description:
This course explores the role of ethnic, national and religious identities as both cause and products of conflict. A multidisciplinary lens will be utilized to examine the dynamics of protracted social conflicts combined with historical events, including the politics and psychology of individual and collective identity development. Special considera­tion will be given to the connection between violent ethnic conflict, such as war and genocide, and their influence on identity construction, conflict engagement, rebuilding and transformation. We will visit historic sites, including a mass grave and beautiful medieval walled cities in Croatia and Bosnia, to give context to the remarkable impact and transformation from traumatic conflict experienced in these countries.

The course will begin in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 28 through July 1. Students will have the op­portunity to tour Sarajevo including many historical, cultural and natural sites, and spend a full day in Srebrenica to meet with memorial center leaders and survivors. 

The course continues in Dubrovnik, Croatia from July 1 to July 5. Students will arrive in Dubrovnik, Croatia via the historic town of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Sponza Palace, tour Old Town (home to the city’s finest attractions), and take a trip up to Mount Srd, the 1,352 foot mountain that towers over the city.

For more information, visit our webpage.
For questions or to make a deposit, please contact Kay Barclay at kbarclay@smu.edu.