Zebras and giraffes at Mpala in Kenya
Play Video: The global classroom: Two Princeton courses travel abroad during spring break

The global classroom: Two Princeton courses spotlight international study

May 22, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

During spring break, Princeton students in the course “Venice, Theater of the World” traveled to Italy while students in the anthropology course “Human Evolution” visited Kenya, deepening their understanding of concepts and cultures learned on campus. 

This semester, students in several Princeton courses were able to turn spring break into a global classroom experience, deepening their understanding of concepts and cultures learned on campus. The video above highlights two such opportunities — one that took students to Venice, Italy, and the other to Kenya.

The course “Venice, Theater of the World” was co-taught by Princeton professors Wendy Heller, the Scheide Professor of Music History, chair of the Department of Music and director of the Program in Italian Studies, and Jamie Reuland, assistant professor of music. [Learn more about the "Venice, Theater of the World" course and trip.]

“We chose to focus the course on Venice because it is just such an exciting and beautiful city with a very rich history,” Heller said. “Since Professor Reuland and I have both worked here for our research, we felt that we wanted students to come to know the city from all of its aspects, not just as scholars, but as human beings, and to embrace the culture in the way that we’ve embraced it.”

The course, which covered art, music and literature, was cross-listed in music, the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Program in Hellenic Studies

Over 5,300 miles away from Venice, a group of students in the course “Human Evolution” were spending spring break in Kenya, mostly at the Mpala Research Centre, a 48,000-acre conservancy for which Princeton is a managing partner. [Learn more about the "Human Evolution" course and trip.]

“The ‘Human Evolution’ class is a class that’s designed to really give a full frame essentially of human evolution from their first appearance, probably about six or seven million years ago, up to the present,” said Janet Monge, visiting professor of anthropology and instructor of the course. “Kenya and East Africa is the origin of our lineage so these environments are really key to understand humans in total.”