2019-2020 Off-Campus Courses
Cornell's One Course At A Time schedule provides ample opportunities to study for a block off-campus. You may either choose to travel domestically or internationally.
Can you see yourself studying here?
Literature and Social Justice in Chicago—ENG 373
Estimated course cost: $350
In this course, you’ll learn from social justice-minded writers and activists in Chicago about the complex web among writers, communities, social issues, and social change. We will explore the challenges faced by individuals and groups seeking social change; the rhetoric they use, the construction of identity, and the role of literature in reform movements. Our meetings with contemporary writers and activists will be contextualized by shared readings, archival research, and visits to historical sites related to race relations, the settlement movement, immigration, and labor movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
*This course entails walking and climbing stairs.
Estimated course cost: $675
Ecology is the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. This course, offered in the North Woods of Minnesota, is an amazing opportunity to study ecology in the field. We will address the basics of ecology (populations, communities, ecosystems, etc.) while focusing on a different aspect of ecology each year (beavers as ecosystem engineers, fire in boreal forest, red squirrels as selective agents on pine trees, etc.), when we take a data-collecting trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Along the way, you will learn about not only ecology, but also natural history, camping and canoeing skills, and wilderness ethics.
*This course entails portage, hiking, uneven/steep/rocky terrain, exposure to poison ivy, open water, flies, ticks, and possibly unpredictable weather.
Wilderness and the Arts—ENG 347
Estimated course cost: $775
The class will immerse ourselves in the glorious September outdoors, as we canoe, study wilderness journals, writings, painting (including the vibrant forest paintings of Emily Carr), photography by Tokihiro Sato, Jim Brandenberg and others) and consider the interplay between our own encounters with the wilderness and the artworks about the wilderness that we study. We will reflect upon art and meditation as ways of relating to the wilderness; we will read fiction and poetry on the wild, keep journals/portfolios of projects involving writing, literature, meditation, and photography (projects inspired by Sato and Brandenberg). Open to seasoned campers & neophytes.
*This course aims to immerse students, safely, at the wilderness at the Field Station in Ely, MN. The course goal is to accommodate students of a range of abilities, from canoe-carry experienced wilderness trekkers to neophytes who may have physical challenges, so that the wilderness becomes open to everyone. The course experience can be adapted within a range. Students sleep in a wood bunkhouse, on bunks, with their own sleeping bag, blankets, and pillows. All students must be willing to forego headphones and social media and to use cell phones (if at all) only as cameras on airplane mode. Conditions will be different than what students may be used to (no showers, latrines, rough sauna, no heat or air conditioning in bunk house), and students are expected to share dishwashing and general cleaning responsibilities. Because medical services are not as readily available as on campus, all campers must scale back risk-taking, and take extra care when hiking, canoeing, and swimming. Minimal required acticities include: hiking on small, uneven, windy paths up to the classroom and Dog Rock, stepping into the lake to get into canoes wearing boots, and possible swimming.
Go West: An Introduction to Field Geology—GEO 123
Estimated course cost: $160
Geology is best learned in the field where you can study the rocks both up close and in the larger context of the landscape. After some prep time in the classroom at Cornell, we will fly to Las Vegas and spend two weeks traveling by van through the majestic geology of the Colorado Plateau. There we will do geology right in the midst of iconic landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Canyonlands National Park. We will spend each day exploring the geology of different locations, learning to identify different rock types, taking field measurements, and working with maps to interpret the geological history of the area. In the evenings, in our hotel, we will discuss the local geology in terms of the broader view from plate tectonics and finish working on assignments from the day.
*This course entails hiking in potentially hot weather on hills and rocks/slopes.
Theatre and the Arts in Chicago—THE 349
Estimated Course Cost: $1,200
Students will attend approximately 20-24 plays and other local Chicago events such as the Chicago Lyric Opera House backstage tour, the Museum Park Segue Tour, the Chicago River Architectural Tour, and meet with several area professional theatre artists. This course gives a wide exposure to working Chicago theatre artists as well as all levels of performance, from storefront to Broadway series.
*This course entails a significant amount of daily walking, some stairs, as well as a possible boat tour and segway tour.
Costume Design—THE 305
Estimated course cost: $375
Exploration of the role of the costume designer in the design and production process. Building upon skills learned in THE 108 and through script and character analysis, students begin to develop the visual design of clothing for a play using line, color, silhouette, texture, etc. Project work focuses on developing research and rendering skills, as well as budgeting and allocation of costume technology assets. Five days of the course will take place in Chicago during which students will see plays, visit museums, shop for fabric, and meet with theatre professionals. Prerequisites: THE 108 and sophomore standing.
*This course entails long periods of standing, indoor and outdoor walking, stairs, and negotiating public transportation in a larger city.
Case Studies in Tropical Wildlife Conservation—BIO 232
Estimated course cost: $2,850
In this course you will learn how conservation is done by participating in a few ongoing projects as case studies. We will explore diverse aspects of wildlife conservation, including both the biological science and social science aspects of the same case studies. This will include the relevant biology of the organisms, what makes the people involved do what they do, and how well efforts are working. By the end of the course, you should be able to evaluate different approaches to conservation, understand how biological knowledge is gained and applied to conservation, and analyze the conflicting interests and needs of the human agents responsible for many of the threats to wildlife and the solutions to protect it. Among the organizations we will work with are Toucan Rescue Ranch, Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, Titi Conservation Alliance, and Osa Conservation.
*This course entails hiking, walking (possibly strenuous, steep, muddy, hot, sunny, rainy, in water, etc), long hours in the field (possibly with biting insects), bending and lifting woody debris.
Gender and Development in India—POL 331
Estimated course cost: $3,250
This is a comparative politics course that focuses on gender and development in India. Our primary focus will be to explore and examine various topics in the study of gender and politics such as women’s political mobilization, access to power, participation in political parties, women as voters and candidates in political elections, and gender and the state. Secondly, we will also critically investigate the complex ways in which gender identity is constructed in India. We will give particular attention to the relationships among factors such as caste, class, health and social structures that shape gender identity.
Macroeconomics Seminar: Traveling Economists in China—ECB 321
Estimated course cost: $4,200
There is no better setting to obtain a deeper understanding of growth, poverty, and economic development than China today. In this class we will examine both the theoretical and empirical foundations that shape the way economists understand economic growth in China and around the globe. We will talk with local experts in Chinese development and business, visit local Chinese firms and factories, have a class exchanges with Chinese college students studying at Chinese Universities, visit local schools, and travel to multiple regions of China—both very rich and urban as well as poor and rural. In addition, we will refine our abilities to think like economists by focusing on the ways that incentives shape behavior, and examine the new insights economists have gained into the determinants of difference across people, cultures, societies, countries, and time. In this class in which we travel and learn economics, our goal is to become both better economists and the kinds of travelers that get the most out of their experiences.
*This course entails walking, hiking, and stairs.
Seminar in Perspectives on Religion—REL 388
Estimated course cost: $350
This course is devoted to advanced research in the academic study of religion, which will include development of relevant skills in original research, writing and oral presentation. Students are expected to complete original primary research that responds and contributes to an academic specialization or conversation in the academic study of religion. Students will be responsible for one original research paper (minimum length 5000 words (approximately twenty pages). This component of the course will be guided by the instructor, consultants from the library and writing studio, and a colleague chosen from the class. The project will be broken down into several stages (Research/Bibliography, Abstract/Proposal, Thesis Statement, Draft, Presentation and Final Paper), as indicated in the schedule below. Each stage will aid the student in the completion of this project.
Research Methods in Conservation Biology—BIO 485
Estimated course cost: $2,800
Time to walk the talk! As they approach the upper levels in biology and environmental studies at Cornell, students will have learned a lot about endangered species in their courses. A recurring theme is that we are all part of the "problem"; here is your chance to be a part of the solution. In this class, students study an internationally recognized endangered species in its natural habitat on a small, remote, tropical, Pacific island. Our goal is to provide managers with information they need to promote the species' conservation. We start by meeting the local stakeholders in Mariana fruit bat conservation: Federal and local government offices, local landowners, and hunters. We identify where knowledge gaps exist and work with local biologists to conduct research on the fruit bats to support effective management for their long-term sustainability.
Applied Anthropology: The Bahamas—ANT 222
Estimated course cost: $2,860
For this course in the anthropology of development, tourism and culture of the Bahamas, we will use readings and original ethnographic research to gain a better understanding of historical and contemporary Bahamian cultures and experiences as well as the anthropology of tourism more broadly. The focus will be on thoughtful critical analysis of the institution of tourism (as well as other key Bahamian economic institutions of fishing, offshore banking and manufacturing). Students will be asked to observe local tourism activities and take advantage of meeting local business people, artists and researchers. We will visit plantation ruins, local institutions and local events as opportunities arise.
Research Problems in the Bahamas—BIO or BMB 485
Estimated course cost: $2,000
This BIO/BMB capstone research course is a collaborative research effort involving both students and faculty. Students participate in a multifaceted on-going research project focused on how climate change affects coral reefs. Fire coral and their algal symbionts are used as a model system to explore thermal stress and coral bleaching. The course takes place on San Salvador Island, one of the outer most eastern islands of the Bahamian archipelago. The island is unique for its history (tied to Columbus’ discovery of the New World), ecology, hypersaline inland lakes and coral reefs teeming with marine life.
*This course entails walking and snorkeling.
Landscape, Language, and Identity in the French Caribbean—FRE 206 or 302
Estimated course cost: $3,100
This French course will immerse students in the culture and language of Martinique. Students will live with home stay families, experience Carnaval celebrations and learn about the island’s landscape and culture through hands-on activities with local experts affiliated with the Université des Antilles. Students will learn about the use of Creole and French, the history of slavery, environmental conservation and organic farming. They will also participate directly in traditional Creole cultural practices such as Bélé dance and Yole boat racing. Pre-requisite: FRE 103 (for 206), FRE 205 (for 302).
*This course entails walking, hiking, some aerobic dancing, participation in Carnaval festivities, and boating.
Financial Management Seminar—ECB 352
Estimated course cost: $160
This course provides an introduction to the dynamic world of derivatives. We mainly focus on options and futures and will learn about the characteristics of the markets and institutions where these instruments trade, pricing models (e.g. the binomial model and Black-Scholes-Merton model), trading strategies (e.g. covered calls, protective puts, and spreads), forwards vs. futures, and the application of derivatives for financial risk management.
*This course entails walking and some stairs.
Pilgrimage: El Camino de Santiago—REL 370 or SPA 370
Estimated course cost: $2,500
We will travel together for two-weeks along the medieval pilgrimage route, El Camino de Santiago, across Northern Spain. Throughout history and across the world, people have adventurously journeyed beyond the boundaries of the familiar to distant destinations believed to be profoundly inspiring and sacred - the homes of divinities, saintly relics, and supernatural occurrences. Whether questing to see and be present in such auspicious centers that often embody cultural ideals and desires or to be formed by the challenging journey itself, pilgrims leave home in hope of acquiring some experience or power that might make right or gain a unique perspective about a problem that cannot be solved otherwise. We will engage in interdisciplinary coursework, focusing on the history, culture, language, traditions, and religious practices relevant to El Camino. During our travels we will visit museums, medieval cathedrals, ancient forts, and the beautiful countryside of the Galicia region of Spain as we bus and walk across such Spanish destinations as Madrid, Pamplona, Leon, Santiago, and even “The End of the Earth."