Study Abroad, Cultural Immersion, and Language Courses

A warm welcome to Wesleyan from the Office of Study Abroad, located in the Fries Center for Global Studies. Wesleyan considers study abroad to be an essential part of a liberal arts education for students majoring in any subject. A meaningful cross-cultural experience sharpens our understanding of ourselves in relation to the world in which we live. It is the best means for achieving the intercultural expertise and multilingualism that our students will need for exercising leadership in an increasingly interconnected world.

It may seem early to think about something that typically happens your sophomore, junior, or senior year, but advance planning is key to making sure you are academically prepared when the time comes to  apply for a program. It is important to keep up with your language courses – some programs require the equivalent of five semesters as a prerequisite. You should also work with your advisor and the Study Abroad staff to identify the best year or semester to fit study abroad into your academic plans. With this careful planning, students of any major may participate in this unique opportunity for global learning.

Contact information: Fries Center for Global Studies, Fisk Hall 201, studyabroad@wesleyan.edu, (860) 685-2550, www.wesleyan.edu/studyabroad

Deadline for Course Registration Preferences — August 1, 5 p.m.

The time is drawing near to submit your ranked preferences for seven First Year Seminars and seven intro/general courses.  Check that you have a balanced schedule and that your plan of study:

  • has three of four courses in each of the three divisions (NSM, SBS, HA);
  • includes at least one in a subject you love and at least one in a new area to explore;
  • is distributed over the week and within the day (not all jammed up together);
  • has diversity in size and and format (small seminar, bigger lecture); and
  • has courses with different kinds of assignments/assessments.

If your interests lie with a more structured major, keep an eye on the introductory/gateway course, but other than that explore, explore, explore.  Take advantage of Wesleyan’s great liberal arts curriculum, and you will begin fulfilling the GenEd Expectations and refining your Competencies (see 7/26 posting).

On Thursday, the second day of orientation, you will be meeting with your faculty advisor, who needs to approve your plan to make it official.  You may revise your plan after that discussion or after you talk to department faculty at the Academic Forum that afternoon.  You can make these course changes during the Adjustment Period the next day on Friday morning and/or during the Drop/Add period, which runs through the first two weeks of classes.

So don’t sweat it now.  Read the Advising Guidelines, view the videos, and enjoy your exploration of WesMaps, Wesvising, and the planning process.  Then press submit!

Check your WesPortal after 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 22 for the results of the scheduling program—your course enrollments for the semester.  You will also see your faculty advisor assignment as well .

The Four Competencies at Wesleyan

COMPETENCIES AT WESLEYAN:  Approaches to Consider in Your Plan of Study

Flexible Framework for Considering Competencies

While at Wesleyan, students engage in the deep study of an academic field once they have declared a major, and they develop academic breadth through their general education coursework. In addition, they will also build broad, interdisciplinary skills through all of their curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities. Wesleyan has developed a flexible framework built on four competencies to allow students to engage voluntarily in a process of reflection (both in conjunction with advisors and on their own).

The four competencies:

  • Mapping = navigating complex environments (NCE)
  • Expressing = writing, expressing, communicating (WEC)
  • Mining = quantitative analysis and interpretation (QAI)
  • Engaging = negotiating intercultural differences (NID)

Mapping = Navigating Complex Environments (NCE)

Mapping is defined as the ability to examine the relationship of objects and spaces in the material and imagined worlds. It involves developing tools to create, manipulate, and navigate constructed and natural environments and charting movement through and interactions with space and its consequences.

Mapping courses may include courses across the curriculum, from the arts (e.g., dance, studio art, and art history), to the natural sciences and mathematics, as well as courses from interdisciplinary programs. Example skills include typography, computation, material science, modeling, and mapping.

Expressing = Writing, Expressing, Communicating (WEC)

Expressing is defined as the ability to express thoughts, ideas, and emotions to others effectively and concisely through a variety of media.

Expressing courses are principally but not solely in the humanities, arts, and social and behavioral sciences. These courses assign written, verbal, and creative projects, and performances that help students develop their ability to express thoughts and ideas to others.

Mining = Quantitative Analysis and Intepretation (QAI)

Mining is defined as the ability to use numerical ideas and methods to describe and analyze quantifiable phenomena. It involves learning about the measurement, analysis, summary, and presentation of information, including about the natural world, as well as answering questions, solving problems, making predictions, and testing and constructing theories by employing mathematical, statistical, logical, and scientific reasoning.

Mining courses are principally but not solely in mathematics, natural sciences, and social and behavioral sciences.

Engaging = Negotiating Intercultural Differences (NID)

Engaging is defined as the ability to comprehend and respect diverse cultural heritages and perspectives in relation to their wider historical and social contexts. It involves reading, speaking, or understanding a second or third language (contemporary or classical); gaining experience working, studying, or traveling abroad or in other unfamiliar cultural contexts; and participating in the political and social life of local and global communities.

Engaging courses may include courses across the curriculum, from language, literature, and culture courses, to courses in history, science in society, religion, government, and philosophy, among other areas.

Why Foreign Language Study is A Good Idea for Every Student!

Dean’s Note:  This is a great piece about the benefits of foreign-language study at Wesleyan.  As entering first-years, you are in a prime position either to begin a new language, especially if you want to reach the level needed to study in a country whose language Wes teaches, or to build upon your previous learning for greater fluency and deeper cultural immersion.

Why Foreign-Language Study is a Good Idea for Every Student  

We assume if you have reasons to learn a particular language (to study, work, travel, or live abroad or for resources not fully available in English translation), you already know why it is important. Here are reasons to study any language besides English or whatever you regard as your native language:

  1. Many employers, professional schools, and graduate schools see serious study of a second language (potentially, a double-major) as evidence that you can (a) put yourself more easily in others’ (colleagues’, clients’) shoes and (b) communicate more effectively even in English.
  2. You will never know your own language and culture more deeply than by studying another–by looking at it from the outside. Learning to thrive with the unfamiliar is often linked to creativity in many intellectual and professional contexts.
  3. Language learning teaches you to think more clearly and sharpens your brain’s ability to make sense of the world.
  4. Deep study of another culture through its language brings home how much of value will never be made available in English.
  5. Puzzling out another language and culture will help you understand (and empathize with) the difficulties of non-anglophone immigrants, colleagues, clients, and travelers in the U.S., even if you never leave American shores.
  6. Learning another language well makes it easier to learn any language in the future. Even if you never need this, the experience–especially if you study abroad–will make you far more confident in your ability to face any intellectual or professional challenge.  
  7. Foreign-language courses fit easily into study plans: offered on highly varied schedules, they provide a stimulating (and fun!) break from problem-set driven, heavy-reading or arts courses.

Wesleyan offers:

Arabic language and culture: http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/aaissa/profile.html

American Sign Language: http://www.wesleyan.edu/lctls/courses.html

Classics (Greek and Latin): http://wesleyan.edu/classics/

East Asian Studies (Chinese, Japanese, Korean): http://wesleyan.edu/ceas/

German studies: http://wesleyan.edu/german/

Hebrew language and culture: http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/dkatz01/profile.html

Romance Languages & Literatures (French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish): http://wesleyan.edu/romance/

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies program: http://wesleyan.edu/russian/

Any other language: http://www.wesleyan.edu/lctls/silp.html

Take the Placement Exam if you have questions about the level at which you should begin, and if you have questions prior to your meeting with your faculty advisor, do not hesitate to contact Dean Brown’s office at 860-685-2758 with questions.

 

Another New FYS!

Check out another new addition to the First Year Seminars!

AMST119.01 Reading Difference

Also, check out, if you have not already, the newly-p0sted course being taught in FILM by Michael Pope, the long-time collaborator of Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls), called the “The Art of Doing,” then definitely do so.  It is a Permission-of-Instructor course and applications are due August 15.

New Course: “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”

New First Year Seminar Course Options!

Below are some additional First Year Seminar Courses for you to consider that have been added since pre-registration started.  Update your ranked FYS list before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 1, if you are interested in any of them.

GRST230.01 The Simple Life

PHIL207.01 Live Like a Philosopher

ENGL190.01 Place, Character, and Design: Techniques in Writing Nonfiction and Fiction

ENGL176.01 August Wilson

 

 

 

 

New Course: “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”

This new course will be hosted by Film and taught by Wes alumna Amanda Palmer’s long-time collaborator, Michael Pope. (If you are not familiar with Amanda Palmer’s work, you can check her out here: http://amandapalmer.net/)

It is a Permission of Instructor (POI) course with notification of admission on August 31.

Title: “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”

Instructors: Michael Pope with Amanda Palmer

Description:

Students learn collaborative creative super filmmaking powers before being dropped off on a metaphoric desert island with nothing but a camera phone and a song. Beauty Ensues.  This studio class will focus on non-traditional video production techniques towards a final project of a class-created music video featuring music and performance by Amanda Palmer. Students will co-create every aspect of this video, from conceptualization to editing to screening, with the final product being released to her Patreon community.

The course seeks to illuminate the creative process by way of mindful reflection, and physical training to promote creative cooperation between various artistic mediums. Students are expected to participate in team building physical exercises inspired by physical theater, Butoh and some physical meditations. Meaning:  Students will be be expected to participate in physical activity that includes jumping, running, yelling, and the like.

The course will allow us to sketch answers to questions like these, among others: How do you forge creative collaborations that allow you to realize your projects and that create the best conditions for your creative work? How do you raise awareness about your creative projects?

Taught by director Michael Pope who has shot, cut and directed the music videos for The Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer’s first solo album (Who Killed Amanda Palmer), in collaboration with Amanda Palmer as visiting co-creator, the course will culminate in a screening of the class-created video that will be part of a Wesleyan-hosted Amanda Palmer concert on Dec 9.

No prior film or video-making experience required, though all students seeking admission to the course are required to submit an application.

Only serious, fully engaged and enthusiastic students should apply. Students must commit to shooting the weekend of Nov. 17-18-19 and must be available all day Sat. and Sun. Nov. 18 and 19.

Students will be required to apply for this course by August 15. They will be notified of admission to the course by August 31.

Course enrollment limit: 15 (all class years allowed)

Grading mode: Cr/U for final grades. Students will be given an indication of whether they are passing the course by midterm.

Major Readings: Course Reader.

Other readings may include: “The Five Rings” Myamoto Musashi; “50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship”, Salvadore Dali;”Giovanni’s Room”, James Baldwin; “Just Kids”, Patti Smith; “The Power of Movies”, Colin McGinn.

Assignments:  Weekly assignments from individual students, collaborative assignments, final reflective essay of 5 pp.

Class meetings: W and F 2:40-4:10 pm

Additional information:  No prior film or video-making experience required, though all students seeking admission to the course are required to submit an application.

Application to the “The Art of Doing”

Students are invited to submit this creative challenge for consideration for admission to “The Art of Doing”.

Applications should be submitted to this email address: artofdoingapplication@gmail.com .   Only applications sent from wesleyan.edu email addresses will be considered.

There are two required parts to the application. Please make sure each part the application clearly indicates your name.

Part I. Create a digital still-image Self Portrait (photograph, collage, rendering).

Choose and incorporate three items into your self-portrait

A. One item to represent who you have been.

B. One item to represent who you are now.

C. One item to represent who you imagine yourself to be in the future.

Applicants are invited to interpret this exercise as best suits their creative strengths.

Part II. Please submit only one document that contains all the required elements A-D (detailed below). Please make sure this document clearly identifies you as the author.

A. In 200 words or less, explain the significance of each item in Part A.

B. In 200 words or less, explain why you’re interested in taking the course “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”.

C. In 100 words, or less, describe your experience with Cr/U courses and your attitude toward Cr/U courses.

D. Applications should include

  1. List of current creative skills
  2.  List of additional interests

E. Optional

Applicants are invited to submit up to three samples of creative work jpeg and mov files.  Note: mov files may be no longer than 180 seconds.

Please do not purchase any books until you have been notified about admission to the course.

 

The Advising Guidelines!

If you haven’t checked out the Advising Guidelines, do so ASAP.  Important advice about how to think about your planning your course of study and specific advice about a range of topics.  It includes pearls of wisdom from your class dean–really! ;)–and sage advice from professors and the academic peer advisors.  Selected topics will be featured over the next couple of weeks, and reading now (or again) will reinforce all the good info you know.