Study Abroad

More than 65 percent of Davidson students study abroad for at least a semester in any of the college's 150 plus study abroad programs and political science majors are no exception. While political science majors have ventured on virtually every program, there are a few that are perennial favorites.

Davidson in India

Semester In IndiaRoutinely described as "life-changing" by participants, Davidson's Semester-in-India Program has been conducted since 1981 and is among the oldest study abroad opportunities in India offered by a liberal arts college in the United States. The Semester-in-India features:

  • Lectures and discussions delivered by Indian academics, officials and resource persons in courses based at Madras Christian College in Chennai
  • Guided travels throughout India (and more recently, trips to the United Arab Emirates and Oman)

Semester in India offers you a chance to live history immersed in one of the most burgeoning, and simultaneously ancient, civilizations in the world. Visit our program website.

Davidson in Peru

Semester in PeruExperience Peru from the Amazon to the Andes, Lima, Bolivia, Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and more. Based in Arequipa, a city known for its whitewashed colonial buildings at the foot of an inactive volcano roughly 7,000 feet above sea level, students live with Peruvian families while taking classes at the Universidad de San Pablo.  You have the freedom to choose from a selection of program-designed courses:

  • Taught by San Pablo professors
  • A course taught by the Davidson professor and program director
  • Full (and extensive) complement of regular university courses

Many students also participate in volunteer activities. Two lengthy journeys bookend the 14 weeks in Arequipa and expose students to varied Peruvian landscapes from coastal desert to mountainous highlands to Amazonian jungle.

In Davidson in Peru first ran in 2007 after being created by two Latin American Studies professors, Russell Crandall, Political Science Department, and Jane Mangan, History Department. For more information, email rucrandall@davidson.edu or jamangan@davidson.edu.

Credits

Courses transferred from abroad as POL 199 count toward the Political Science major. Students may petition to have a course transferred as UNS 199 count toward the major by asking the department chair to review the syllabus and other course materials. Courses transferred from abroad do not satisfy subfield requirements.

Shorter Travel Abroad Programs

The Colombia Staff Ride

ColumbiaThis annual, eight-day trip to Colombia is led by professor Russell Crandall. Many of the participants are in Professor Crandall's fall seminar on insurgencies and counterinsurgencies. The intensive itinerary includes:

  • Visits in Bogota at government agencies
  • The U.S. Embassy
  • International organizations, human rights and law non-government organizations

You will  also visit the provincial city of Medellin and end with a two-day rest and relaxation experience on a 19th century "finca" or ranch in Colombia's verdant coffee country. The trip goes right after New Year's and returns before the spring semester starts.

Rift Valley Institute "Horn of Africa" Jinja, Uganda

The Rift Valley Institute convenes in the town of Jinja, Uganda, on beautiful Lake Victoria. The one-week course is directed by professor Ken Menkhaus. If you are accepted into the course, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in an intensive course featuring lectures by top regional experts;
  • Meet and work with 40-50 other participants, most of whom are professionals working as humanitarian aid workers, development officials, diplomats, journalists, military attaches, and graduate students in the region;
  • Reside in Jinga, Uganda's second largest city;
  • Enjoy a number of cultural events;
  • Earn an independent studies credit, to be arranged with Dr. Menkhaus

If so desired, you can extend your stay in order to study, do independent research, or volunteer in East Africa following completion of the course. You must complete a short application letter sent electronically to Professor Menkhaus.

Alternatives to Study Abroad

If you want an experience outside of Davidson, but are worried that studying abroad will make it difficult for you to finish your major requirements on time, consider applying for the Davidson in Washington, which allows students to earn two political science course credits during the summer.