Kayaking in the Everglades

Travel Courses

MCLA Travel Courses Take You Places

MCLA class dressed for a Japanese banquet

MCLA students working at a school in Belize

Students stop at an overlook at Laguna Quilotoa in the Ecuadorean Andes

Taking a break in Belize--snorkeling in the Caribbean

Professor and students hiking near Chugchilan, Ecuador

Expand Your Horizons, Study Off Campus

If you think you would like to study somewhere else but are not sure you want to be away for an entire semester, then MCLA’s travel courses may be perfect for you. On-campus sessions and on-site visits combine to give you a unique educational experience that you will never forget.

Students at Irish castleTravel courses

  • cover a range of subject areas, from history, political science, physics, environmental studies, and sociology, to name a few
  • are conducted by faculty who are experienced travelers and who are experts in their fields
  • are held during an extended spring break
  • let you experience another culture in an immersive experience
  • provide some limited scholarships to help defray costs to qualified applicants
  • may be a gateway to later study abroad opportunities or international travel

Learn more about the travel courses being offered in the spring semester and see what kinds of travel courses students have enjoyed in the past.

For more information on travel courses, contact Academic Affairs at 413.662.5242.

Travel courses - Spring 2024

Students in Kilkenny, Ireland

Explore the rich history and culture of Ireland. The course will acquaint students with Ireland’s history, culture, and society by visiting historical sites, museums, vibrant cities, and the Irish countryside.

San Salvador coastline in the Bahamas

Tropical Ecology will explore tropical ecosystems and discuss human impacts on these ecosystems. The course will include travel to the Caribbean island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Before and after the trip, students will learn about and investigate the biology of tropical ecosystems as well as social issues that impact these ecosystems.

Zebras on the Nelson Mandela University campus reserve

This course offers an immersive travel experience focused on state-of-the-art science and cultural exploration in South Africa, specifically in the cities of Cape Town and Gqeberha. Prior to travel, students will read and discussion popular science articles focused on research currently being conducted in South Africa. They will also learn the theory and operation requirements of a transmission electron microscope.

MCLA students crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama

For the Civil Rights Travel Course, we will be taking a bus tour to the American South to celebrate and commemorate the major milestones and events of the Civil Rights Era. In this course, students will learn about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the men and women who shaped it. Alongside visiting museums and important historical sites, student will get to meet and talk with Civil Rights activists and veterans and hear their perspectives on being a part of this important era in American history and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement for all of us today.


Last Year's Travel Courses

Dr. David Cupery

This interdisciplinary course will bring students face to face with Peru’s stunning natural beauty and rich cultural diversity, past and present. Visit world wonder Machu Picchu and other remarkable Incan archaeological sites. Spend two days touring the islands of beautiful Lake Titicaca, including a homestay with families in a traditional indigenous community. Sample a variety of excellent Peruvian dishes, music, dance and handicrafts. Take in the majestic views as you hike (optional) in the Andes mountains.

Professor and students dressed for a Japanese banquet
Dr. Kailai Huang

This travel course is themed on the interplay between Japan’s traditions and modernity. Through pre-travel classes and visits to some of Japan’s most famous places, including the cutting-edge metropolis Tokyo, the exquisite ancient capital Kyoto, and the evocative city of Hiroshima, students will gain an in-depth knowledge and an intimate experience of Japan’s history, religion, culture and society. Many sites we will visit are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Students in South Africa
Dr. Anna Jaysane-Darr​

This course examines contemporary South Africa and diverse South African communities in historical and cultural context. Nestled between mountain and sea, Cape Town is a beautiful and vibrant city known for both for its natural landscapes and rich mix of cultures. In our immersive travel experience, students will have the opportunity to learn about and experience South Africa 30 years after the fall of apartheid, visiting historical sites, museums, and meeting the activists, artists, and entrepreneurs transforming urban Africa today. We will also swim with penguins, ride the cable car up Table Mountain, and visit indigenous land. 

Faculty and students in Belize
Spencer Moser

Now is the time for that Adventure you have been waiting for. The Alternative Spring Break Service and Cultural immersion trip this Spring will be to Belize, Central America.  Experience Belizean culture, Work Together on a Community Service Project, Explore Mayan Caves and Temples, Canoe a Tropical River and Swim in the Coral Reef.  We will be based out of the amazing Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  

Travel Course Scholarships

Financial Aid for Travel Courses     


Faculty Forms:

Health and Medical Form

Travel Liability Waiver & Travel Participant Agreement

Trip Leader Form