top of page
  • sbsc24

Ciao, Norman! OU Students Travel the World this Summer with CIS

Summer is always an exciting time in the College of International Studies, as it’s the busiest season for study abroad! Between May and August, many OU students travel the globe. Some will join one of OU’s numerous college-sponsored trips, others may travel with a group like PCS or PLC, and some students might enroll in a university exchange or pursue an internship abroad. No matter which type of program you choose, summer study abroad is a priceless opportunity to grow personally and intellectually, forge new friendships and make wonderful memories.

Each year, the College of International Studies sponsors its own slate of study abroad trips, including the ever-popular Journey Programs, which allow students to immerse in a specific culture for three to four weeks. Read on for a taste of the exciting programs we’re sponsoring this summer. And to find out how you can study abroad with us in 2020, visit

Journey to Latin America: Brazil/Mexico

When: May 13–June 3

What: On this Journey Program, students see two sides of Latin American culture by visiting both Brazil and Mexico. The group will study culture and history as they travel to Puebla, Mexico City and Rio, making excursions to famous sites like the Great Pyramid of Cholula and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Courses: Students on this program enroll in two IAS courses, Intellectuals and Artists in Modern Latin America and Latin America in the Age of the Cuban Revolution, both with Professor James Cane-Carrasco.

Diaspora Studies: Spain & Morocco

When: May 15–June 5

What: This new program explores the overlap of two fascinating cultures through the lens of diaspora, or the movement of people from their homeland. Students will visit historical cultural sites in Seville, Spain, participate in community engagement activities with locals, and spend three days in beautiful Morocco visiting Chaouen and Asilah and camel riding in the Sahara.

Courses: For this program, students enroll in the IAS course Diaspora: Race, Nation, and Gender, taught by Professor Mirelsie Velazquez, and the WGS course Women and Sports, taught by Professor Kirsten Hextrum.

MA in Global Affairs Study Abroad in Ireland

When: May 26–June 2

What: This program is part of the study abroad component of OU’s online Master of Arts in Global Affairs (MAGA), and focuses on the potential consequences of Britain’s exit from the EU for Ireland. Students will study the history of Ireland’s relationship to Britain and membership in the European Union through site visits and meetings related to Ireland’s history and political, social and economic development.

Course: Students on this program complete the IAS course Post-Brexit Ireland, taught by Professor Mitchell Smith.

MA in Gloabal Affairs Study Abroad in Puebla, Mexico

When: May 30–June 6

What: This program is part of the study abroad component of OU’s online Master of Arts in Global Affairs (MAGA), and focuses on Mexico as a developing democracy. Students will explore the challenges democracy faces in Mexico through meetings with government and private sector representatives, NGOs and other analysts in Puebla and Mexico City, while also enjoying the food, culture and history of Mexico.

Course: Students on this program complete the IAS course Challenges to Democracy in Mexico: Economic Integration, Populism and Technology, Illicit Flows, taught by Professor Charles Kenney.

Journey to Africa: South Africa

When: June 3–24

What: Students on this year’s Journey to Africa signature program will explore South Africa, visiting Johannesburg, Pretoria, Capetown and Stellenbosch. Visits include the Apartheid Museum, Freedom Park, Table Mountain, Boulders Beach, the Maboneng Art Precint and more.

Courses: This program requires two IAS courses, Telling a Story over Decades of Change: The Role of South African Media, with Professor Elanie Steyn, and Human Rights & Mass Trauma in South Africa, with Professor Zermarie Deacon.

Journey to Italy

When: June 4-30

What: One of CIS’s most popular summer programs, Journey to Italy takes students on a whirlwind tour of some of Italy’s most interesting cities, with a home base at OU’s International Study Center in Arezzo. The group will visit Rome, Venice and Florence and even catch a taste of beautiful southern Italy with trips to Sorrento and the isle of Capri. Students will visit museums and cultural sites, and even have class in famous places such as the Colosseum and the ancient city of Pompeii.

Courses: Students on this program enroll in two courses, the Art History course Art & Culture in Italy with Professor Kirk Duclaux, and the IAS course Climate Change in Italy: Wine, Art & Tourism with Professor Renee McPherson.

Northern Uganda Collaborative Learning Program

When: June 5–28

What: This summer marks the third installment of the Northern Uganda Collaborative Learning Program, an interdisciplinary effort led by OU’s Center for Peace and Development in conjunction with St. Monica’s School of Basic Learning for Women in Gulu, Uganda. On this program, undergraduates, graduate students and faculty work together on a project that supports women’s peacebuilding organizations in Northern Uganda while also learning about the area’s history and culture. Read more about January’s program here.

Courses: This program requires two courses, the IAS course Africa in Context and an additional course that is cross-listed under Education, Engineering and Regional & City Planning.

Journey to China

When: June 11–July 2

What: Another of CIS’s signature programs, Journey to China ventures through the cities of Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Chongqing and Shanghai. Students will visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Diayu Fortress, Hongya Cave and more, and will even have the opportunity to observe pandas in their natural habitat.

Courses: This program requires two IAS courses: China's Rise: A 360-Degree Examination, taught by Professor Bo Kong, and Chinese Culture, History and Language, taught by Professor Nian Liu.

OU in Puebla: the Cuisine, Arts and Culture of Mexico

When: July 1–22

What: This course, designed for those studying Spanish, offers immersive language learning in addition to a fun-filled study of Mexican cuisine. The program is based at OU’s Study Center in Puebla, Mexico’s culinary center, where students will take cooking classes, visit markets and restaurants, and explore foods and traditions in the area’s indigenous communities. The group will also have an opportunity to visit Mexico City, and will participate in “meet the owner” sessions with young food entrepreneurs.

Courses: Students on this program enroll in either Intermediate Spanish (with Professor Dana Loy) or Spanish Conversation (with Professor Jose Juan Colin), as well as the IAS course Mexican Cuisine and Culture, with Professor Jose Juan Colin (taught in Spanish).

OU in Rio Summer Internship Program

When: June 10–July 5 / July 8–August 1 (4 weeks) or June 10–August 1 (8 weeks)

What: In this unique summer program, students have the opportunity to complete an internship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Each accepted student is matched to an internship based on personal interest and qualifications, and opportunities are available in both English and Portuguese. Examples of past internships include Mundo das Artes, a nonprofit which helps underprivileged children; Eleva school, a private, K-12, English-language school; the Rio office of EducationUSA, a State Dept. program that advises Brazilian students who wish to attend college in the US; and Olabi, a socially conscious technology company.

Courses: Students earn three hours of internship credit through IAS or another department.

bottom of page