Study in the States

  • A line of students in a forest in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Anasazi dwellings as seen by honors students on the Desert Southwest trip.
  • Honors college students holding a W flag standing in front of the California Institute of the Arts.
  • An honors college student wearing a Study in the States t-shirt stands in front of Anasazi dwellings with her back to the camera.
  • Students holding a W and a newspaper standing in front of the San Francisco Chronicle sign.

a unique program in the Lee Honors College

Study in the States logo which is a graphic of the continental United States and the words Study in the States.

Study in the States offers educational opportunities that take place outside the classroom. Except for the cost of tuition, expenses will be paid by the honors college. All trip descriptions, including dates, are included below. Follow us online using #LHCSIS!

Applications for 2020 Study in the States courses are now closed!
Application deadline: Oct. 25, 2019, 5 p.m.
Notification of Selections: No later than Dec. 12, 2019

Spring 2020 Courses:

HNRS 2900: Canyons, Sites and Springs of the Desert Southwest
Nine day trip that will occur over spring break 2020
This course is an engaging clockwise lap of the desert southwest and an exploration of culture, archaeology, and ecology. Punctuated by therapeutic soaks in hot springs, we visit the major sites of the Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi), including Chaco Canyon, Canyon De Chelly, and Mesa Verde. We will study petroglyphs and pictographs, ride horses and hike to remote sites, and frequent remarkable desert mesas and vistas. We will learn through active engagement in an experiential, open road, instructional pedagogy. Dr. Jeffrey Jones, professor, Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies, would be happy to answer questions about the course.

HNRS 2900: U.S. Mexico Border Awareness Experience
Eight day trip from April 26 to May 3
This course is an immersion experience that will submerge students in the culture and realities of the US/Mexican border. Students will learn about issues related to the border such as immigration, economic development, human rights and social justice. It will take place in El Paso, Texas—one of the main entry points into the US for undocumented workers and refugees from Mexico and Central America seeking asylum. The experience will center around Annunciation House, a Catholic organization that has been working in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico since 1978 providing services for migrants and refugees. The students will have the opportunity to tour the border fence, meet with local non-profit organizations providing legal services to immigrants and refugees crossing the border and visit with human rights activists. If possible, they will visit a detention center, meet with border patrol agents and observe immigration court proceedings. You may contact Denise Bowen, professor emerita, physician assistant, for more information.

Summer I Course:

NEW! HNRS 2900: The American Experience: From Slavery to the Great Migration and Civil Rights
Seven day trip from April 26 to May 3
The era of slavery for people of African descent had a profound impact on the United States of America (US) across centuries. The descendants of the enslaved are still dealing with the ripple effects of that era, as most of them are continuing to experience racism, discrimination and social and economic injustice. Travel with engaged fellow students and faculty for 8 days from Kalamazoo to the American South to learn about our uniquely American experience of slavery, emancipation, migration, and the on-going struggle for equity. Stops will include the Benton Harbor, Detroit, and Schoolcraft, Michigan, Cincinnati, Ohio, Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, DC with amazing cultural, historic, and food sites at each location. Dr. Mioara Diaconu, associate professor, Social Work, or Marian Tripplett, faculty specialist II, Social Work, would be happy to answer questions about the course.

Summer II Course:

HNRS 2900: Walt's Pilgrimage: A Journey in the Life of Walt Disney
Nine day trip from July 9 to 17
Travel with honors college and WMU alumnus Dr. Christopher Tremblay to explore the legacy of Walt Disney, beginning in Chicago at Disney’s birthplace and ending in California at his gravesite. This unique, biographical course will take you from the birth to the death of the famous Walt Disney. This experience is a historical journey about the 60-year life of an individual who left his mark on America in so many ways. The course will start with Walt’s birthplace in Chicago and will end at his gravesite in California, taking us cross-country to all of the significant places in Walt’s life. Existing museums and buildings bearing Walt’s name will be a part of this one-of-a-kind, nationwide tour. Over the course of 8 days, nearly 40 destinations with a connection to Walt will be visited, in chronological order. We will interact with many Disney historians along the way. This course offers an exclusive perspective on Disney, beyond what probably most of us know from our own personal, prior experiences related to him and his Kingdom. Get ready to step inside the wonderful world of Disney! Dr. Tremblay would be happy to answer your questions about this course!