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2017 Spring ICA Showcase

May 10, 2017

Intensive Courses Abroad (ICAs) are faculty-led, academically intensive study abroad programs that Drexel offers during every break period. In addition to readings, pre-departure preparatory work, assignments, seminars, and post-travel requirements, they include activities such as guest lectures, industry visits, and other hands-on events that transform new places into living laboratories. This Spring break, nine faculty members led students to new places and taught courses on topics ranging from history, leadership, religion, and community development. Below, enjoy student photos and snippets of their experiences from a few of our ICAs.

Spring Break in Iceland: Exploring Creative Economies

Professor Anne Cecil

This Spring Break ICA in Iceland allowed students to experience Iceland’s steady comeback from the crash of 2008 in its cultural and economic heart, Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. The course examined the importance of design and creative industries as a foundation to a strong overall economy as demonstrated through a variety of experiences. While in Iceland students participated in Design Mars activities including gallery and industry visits, DesignTalks and Reykjavik Fashion week. 

Abby Wagner's ICA

"Experiencing Iceland's natural beauty is something I'll always cherish!" -- Abby Wagner


Spring Break in Germany & Czech Republic: Legacies of Nazi-era Policing

Professor Dr. Robert J. Kane 

Visiting historical sites of the Nazi party regime in Munich, Nuremberg, and Prague allowed students to study firsthand how these cities became the cultural hubs they are today while still bearing the burden of their Nazi heritages. This course focuses on the development and maintenance of the Nazi police state in Germany and the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) from 1934-1945. Students learned that through legislation, terror, violence, and the use of concentration camps, the Nazi Regime established one of the most complete, far-reaching, and brutal systems of non-democratic social control in human history. Yet, through daily experiences with people on subways and trains, in restaurants, and at cultural sites, students learned that that Munich, Nuremberg, and Prague, cannot be singularly defined by their Nazi pasts. 

Yah-Chia Lam's ICA

"Once Nazi Rally Grounds, now a well-used public space. From Left to right: Lauren McDowell, Dr. Robert Kane, Yih-Chia Lam, and Yasmine Braithwaite in Nuremberg, Germany on March 28, 2017." -- Yih-Chia Lam 

Spring Break in Germany: Berlin Identity

Simone Schlichting-Artur, Ed.D

To speak like a German and feel like a German, go to Germany with Drexel University! This ICA in Germany allowed students to increase their language ability and as well as their understanding of the German culture on-site in Berlin. Students studied and analyzed different aspects of German life such as architecture, film, history, literature, and religion, and discussed how all of these play a role in shaping the identity of the city and its citizens.

Angela Mutua's ICA

“In the old town (Altstadt), we passed by a memorial for a factory-owner. He employed blind men, and during the time of WWII, worked hard to ensure that his workers were not deported or arrested. The little side street where his factory is located is full of street art.” -- Angela Mutua 


Spring Break in Germany, Italy, Switzerland: Science and Religion

Dr. Fraser Fleming, Chair of Drexel's Chemistry Department

This course began in the winter term, with students studying cosmology, and chemical, biological, and hominid evolution to examine where life comes from and what it means to be humans. The course also examined the lives of several great scientists and concluded with topics in neuroscience that relate to the soul and the self. The ICA portion of the course gave students the opportunity to continue their comparative studies of religion and science in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. Students visited museums and exhibits in Europe (including the CERN supercollider, the Einstein Museum, Kepler’s house, and the Vatican and Vatican Observatories) highlighting their studies from the winter term.

Nohra Murad's ICA

“Travel is an important life skill to have, and it was a great experience to learn that from Drexel along with the course material.” -- Nohra Murad


Spring Break in Haiti: Community, Education, and Development

Adam Zahn; Ahaji Schreffler

This program allowed students to discover critical issues and ethical dilemmas of international civic engagement and community development through the lenses of education and entrepreneurship in Haiti. Students studied the history of Haiti, its community-driven development, and why people call it the "Republic of NGOs". Students participated in pre-departure activities and class sessions, followed by a weeklong global service-learning experience in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. Students spent the week working side by side with community partners at the Haitian American Caucus (HAC) as participants in English as a Foreign Language classroom activity, and engaging with local Haitian students.

Madison Werts's ICA

“One week will never be enough to explore this beautiful country.” -- Madison Werts


Spring Break in Italy: Believers, Infidels, Heretics in Rome & Venice

Dr. Jonathan Seitz

2016 was the 500th anniversary of the creation of the very first “ghetto” in European history, established by the Republic of Venice. The ICA to Rome and Venice allowed students to explore the history of both cites and of the multicultural communities there. After this intensive study abroad, students were able to explain the history of interactions among the different religious communities in medieval and early modern Italy, discuss how the religious histories of the cities are reflected there today, and explain how these histories are memorialized and recounted in the present.

Athria Sivan's ICA

“The best part of the trip was meeting this group of people and being able to enjoy Italy's wondrous history together. It would not have been the same without them.” -- Athira Sivan


Drexel Law in France: European Union Law

Dr. Robert Field

This course in European Union Law provided a general survey of legal principles applicable to civil law countries in Europe, with an emphasis on public law in the European Union. The course was taught onsite in Rennes, France during Drexel's spring semester break.

Anna Brousell's ICA

“This picture in Mt. St. Michel was taken mid-way through our tour of the castle. It was enchanting and breathtakingly beautiful.” -- Anna Brousell

For more information on ICA, click here!

And for more pictures from the Spring ICA, follow us on Facebook @DrexelOIP!