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Europe Program

LIU Global Europe Program, Fall Semester 2014

The LIU Global Europe Program orients students to the cultures, conflicts and political innovations that have produced modern Europe.  Housed at the Franklin Institute at the University of Alcalá, the educational program utilizes a combination of course work and field/travel experiences aligned with the curriculum.  Students will emerge from the 14 weeks with an understanding that “Europe” as a region is characterized by a profound tension.  Students will be oriented to the tradition of enlightened high culture and “western values,” a tradition that sees itself as synonymous with civilization.  At the same time, the continent is also marked by a history of war and aggression. The LIU Global program will concentrate particularly on the way this tension has manifest itself in the modern age.  During the last century, two inter-European conflicts have plunged the world twice into devastating and genocidal world wars.  And in the aftermath of this conflict, the world’s first great experiment in post-national governance has emerged, the European Union (EU).  When asked once in London what he thought of Western Civilization, Gandhi quipped that he thought that “it would be a good idea.”  The LIU Global program takes the pulse of how far European civilization, in general, and the EU in particular, has come in making progress toward this “good idea.” 

The program’s central features will include:

  • A set of three required courses delivered in English that orient students to the European Union, modern art and politics, and the culture of Spain (the EU member state the hosts the program).
  • Travel experiences to London, Paris and Morocco integrated into the required courses.
  • A set of disciplinary electives, some offered in English and some in Spanish, in which students can formally explore their individual interests.
  • A set of Spanish language elective courses for intermediate and advanced Spanish speakers.  
  • Options for credit-baring independent study and service learning. 

The program will be housed at the Franklin Institute at the University of Alcalá (http://www.institutofranklin.net/).  Founded in 1499, the University of Alcalá is the second oldest university in Spain.  The University is situated in the heart of Alcalá de Henares, a city that has been declared a World Heritage Site.  This designation is the result not only of its rich architectural heritage, but also because of the important events in Spanish history that took place there, events such as the birth of Cervantes and key meetings between Christopher Columbus and the Spanish monarchs that commissioned his voyages to America.  The city not only hosts a rich community of University students, it is a convenient 30-minute train ride from central Madrid. Students will have the choice of housing in university dorms or homestays with Spanish-speaking families. The professional staff at the Franklin Institute will provide all student support and logistical services. 

For questions regarding the program details, write Jeff Belnap, Dean LIU Global (jeffrey.belnap@liu.edu).