UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
This unique study abroad program has allowed hundreds of students to chart their own course to Europe since 1963. You will have the satisfaction of planning your own project; carrying out research in a European country of your choice; living, learning and traveling independently; and creating a final project paper that will very likely be the highlight of your academic career at UWRF.
The project paper lies at the heart of SA: Europe. You will develop the project during the preceding semester with the help of a faculty project adviser in a particular area of study. This adviser and the SA: Europe staff will help you shape the scope of your study and assist you in making overseas contacts prior to your trip to Europe. When you arrive in Europe, you will be fully prepared to spend eight to ten weeks focusing on your topic.
Each project is unique and requires an individualized approach to conducting research. Some of the methods that SA: Europe participants use to gather their information in Europe include: working with researchers in laboratories or in the field, conducting personal interviews with contacts, using specialized materials at libraries and museums, doing volunteer work for organizations, and auditing a class or classes at a local university.
SA: Europe participants have done projects in almost every discipline taught on campus. You can develop a completely new and unique project or explore a new approach to a topic that has been done previously.
Imagine being able to spend eight to ten weeks in one country as a temporary “insider” rather than a tourist. You will return from Europe not only with a deeper understanding of your research topic but also with a unique insight into a foreign culture. You will have experienced that culture firsthand, every day, in a thousand different ways--buying warm baguettes at the corner bakery, riding the local tram through town, speaking with a museum guide about your research topic, or picking up some fresh yogurt and fruit from the “mom and pop” grocery down the street.
To get the most out of your immersion in European culture, you will attend a series of preparatory meetings during the preceding semester. These meetings, will cover research skills, health and safety issues, travel tips, and cultural information.
The spring semester will begin in Scotland, where you will complete on-site orientations to familiarize yourself with living, studying, and traveling in Europe; finalize your project in consultation with a UWRF faculty member, and complete a three-week course offered at Newbattle Abbey in Dalkeith, Scotland. This is the home base of the Experience Scotland Program. From Scotland, you will travel to your project location and spend the next 2 months completing your project. After that, you return to Scotland for several days to present and discuss projects before returning to the states.
By this time, you will have developed the travel skills and practical “know how” to take full advantage of your remaining time in Europe. Do you want to spend some time exploring Prague? Maybe a week in a village in Tuscany? Hiking in Switzerland? It's up to you. In addition to traveling, many students wisely use this time to start writing their project papers.