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Interterm continues to offer Doane students unrivaled experience

Interterm, one of Doane’s most unique learning experiences, is slated to change as part of the college’s new curriculum.

And though its current format - with on-campus classes in January and travel courses in January and May - is changing, the college is continuing to offer its students unrivaled learning opportunities.

The three-week flex periods - one each in January and May - allow students to choose a non-traditional class on any topic they’re interested and attend only that class for the majority of a month. This year’s courses range anywhere from learning how to make sushi to experiencing theatre, art and architecture in London.

One new class will travel to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in May. The tour will begin with a flight to Bangkok, where students will visit the temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace in the Thailand city. Other activities include a dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya River, a trip to Phuket Cambodia and a stop at Ho Chi Minh City - previously called Saigon when it was the capitol of the former Republic of South Vietnam.

Sierra Jones '14 said she will be taking the course and is excited to finally use her travel scholarship.

“Southeast Asia isn’t really a place that people go to vacation very often, but the area is stunningly beautiful,” Jones said. “It will be strange to be in a place where I won’t know the language at all, but I feel like that is an incredible learning experience that everyone should have in their life.

“I’m really happy this experience will be the closing of my chapters at Doane…”

Professor of Education Lyn Forester said she believes the opportunity to travel during college is beneficial to students.

“I think it is very important for students to travel,” Forester said. “It opens up the world and offers ideas for future opportunities for them. When you visit cultures vastly different from your own, you begin to understand the multicultural nature of our world.”

Other classes will be traveling to the Florida Keys and Everglades, London and other places in Europe.

While traveling during Interterm is a great opportunity for students, not everyone has or wants to travel. In fact, most courses are taught on campus and provide students with learning experiences much different from those they’ve had in previous Doane classes.

Another new course will discuss global issues involving human trafficking. ITM 430, "Human Trafficking: Who? What? When? Where? and Why?," will be taught by Associate Economics Professor Jennifer Bossard, who said she believes it is an important problem for students to study and help solve.

“I would like their eyes to be open to the economic, cultural and political issues that contribute to human trafficking,” Bossard said. “I would like for students to make intentional decisions that reduce the demand for human trafficking...everyone, including students, should have a sense of compassion toward other people and care about how they are treated.”

Bossard also brought up a valuable point about students who will help manage a business in the future.

“Some students will one day become managers and producers of goods and services...they should be aware about how their decisions affect workers, including the working conditions of people within their supply chain,” Bossard said.

Whether students plan on trekking on campus from their dorm rooms to learn about the world or traveling thousands of miles to visit foreign countries, in its final year, Interterm will provide a learning experience different from anything you’d find at a large university.