Study Tour Reference

LUS – 10/5/2015
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Study Tours are the signature feature of the Dolibois Center's programs. The Study Tour is defined as "the field component that allows students to engage in a direct experiential learning in a European context and apply in-class teaching to the actual European situation" (LUX 325 course).

Principles

Study Tours are part of two series of courses during the semester and the summer program. They carry 1 full credit (12.5 contact hours) in a separate course (LUX325) during the semester or the equivalent in contact hours during the sprint term or the equivalent of 2 full credits (25 contact hours) during the summer program.

Learning outcomes of Study Tours can be adequately defined by those outlined in the LUX 325 course description:

LO1: Students discover the actual context of their course in a carefully designed faculty-led field trip/excursion.
LO2: Students apply the knowledge they have acquired in-class to tour's specific location(s).

Courses identified as Study Tour courses

In 2014-2015 the Dolibois Center organized 22 Study Tours. Three sets of courses are identified as "Study Tour courses".

  1. Sprint Study Tour courses. These courses are organized during the semester sprint term (usually the first 8 weeks of each semester) for a total of 2 credits of formal in-class teaching (25 contact hours) and the equivalent of 1 credit in contact hours during the Study Tour. The five-day (four-night) Study Tour should include at least 12.5 hours of formal activities directly pertaining to the topic of the class. Classes meet three times a week for 75 minutes.
  2. Semester Study Tour courses. These courses take place over the entire semester for a total of 3 credits of in-class teaching. Classes meet twice a week. They are linked with a Study Tour integrated in the LUX325 course (1 credit). The six-day (five-night) Study Tour typically takes place 2 weeks after All Saints Break (Fall) or during the Easter Break period (Spring).
  3. Summer Program Study Tours. The summer program integrates two Study Tours, typically after the first three days of class during the second week of the program and during the fifth week of the program. Classes meet for 3 days a week (Monday-Wednesday) during 5 of the 7 weeks of the program for a total of 12.5 hours. Each Study Tour represents the equivalent of 25 contact hours.

Study Tour dates

The dates of the Tours are shown in the academic calendar of the Center. Most of the time, though not always, the period during which a Study Tour can be organized consists of an entire week and two weekends. This, obviously, is longer than the actual duration of the Tour and gives flexibility to faculty members to choose the actual dates of their tour. Actual dates of the Study Tour must be announced during the first week of the term. This allows students to make their own plans for the remaining free time. Additionally, all students are informed that no specific dates can be provided to them before the beginning of the term. It is very clear that students must block the entire “Study Tour Week” period until they are informed by the faculty member of the final plans.

Important note: Study tours either meet as a group or depart as a group. With a few exceptions, there are usually no roundtrips to and from Luxembourg. Students should be precisely reminded of this aspect. In the improbable hypothesis a student would prefer to leave and return to Luxembourg, this can be arranged on a single fare basis. Students in this case should contact Assistant Dean Raymond Manes.

Ideally, a group departs from MUDEC, leaves on Friday right after classes or on Saturday at the latest or meets at the place of the study tour on the Tuesday (Semester Study Tour) or Wednesday (Sprint Study Tour) and leaves as a group on Sunday. This accommodates both flight costs constraints and students’ independent travels. However, academic necessities may involve a late departure on Sunday or Monday. In such a case, the Faculty member should be aware that this reduces students’ free travel time. Students must be kept apprised accordingly should this occur.

It may happen that exact dates are left to the Faculty member’s decision. In this case, the Faculty member makes the decision to meet at a given point from which the tour will start and leave as a group at the end or leave as a group from Luxembourg and be left free after the completion of the tour. It is not recommended to request both, as students use the remaining of the week for their own personal travels.

Study Tour timing

Groups meeting at destinations should start their study tour program no later than 12.00pm. An afternoon activity is absolutely necessary. Groups departing from Luxembourg do not finish before 12.00. A morning academic activity is absolutely necessary. There must not be any exception to these conditions.

Study Tour components

A study tour has three components:

  • The academic component: This is the most important component and a mandatory one. It represents the equivalent of 1 credit in contact hours (semester and sprint Study Tours) or 1.5 contact hours (summer program). It fosters critical thinking by providing a learning experience where students reflect in the very action of discovering a new place and new contexts, hence emphasizing the 1st and 4th principles of Miami Liberal Education Global Plan, Thinking critically, and Reflecting and acting.
  • The cultural component: It is highly recommended that faculty members plan for cultural visits. These are intended to provide students with an enhanced understanding of contexts, and offer the opportunity to expand the scope of the tour beyond academic content strictly related to the class. It corresponds to the second principle of Miami Liberal Education Global Plan, Understanding Contexts, and may count towards the credit hours.
  • The social component: This includes bonding activities such as shared meals and/or group activities in order to enhance the learning process and overall study tour experience. It corresponds to the 3rd Principle of Miami Liberal Education Global Plan, Engaging with Other Learners, and may count towards credit hours depending on the relevancy of the activity.