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2023 Travel Seminars

On a Drake travel seminar, students can explore the world alongside their fellow Bulldogs and professors. Travel seminars run during J-Term or summer and are typically between one to three weeks in length. Past program locations have included Belize, China, England, New Zealand, and Uganda, to name a few. If you are finding it difficult to fit a semester study abroad experience into your program—due to time constraints, financial obstacles, or personal reasons—this may be an excellent option for you. With your Drake community by your side, you’ll develop new relationships with fellow Drake students and professors, and create long-lasting memories that will serve you long after your time abroad.

 Where Will You Go?? 

Your J-Term, your choice.

Drake J-Term Travel Seminar Information


What is a travel seminar?

A travel seminar is a short-term Drake faculty-led course that travels to either international or domestic locations. The courses are usually comprised of 10 to 20 Drake students and are between one and three weeks in length during the month of January. J-Term travel seminars are 3-credit courses, many of which include a Drake AOI designation.

How to View J-Term Travel Seminars and APPLY!

  1. Go to Terra Dotta.
  2. Click on Programs in left-top corner of the screen in the black bar across the top of the page.
  3. In the Simple Search section, under Term, use the dropdown and choose J-term, then click the blue button at the bottom of the page, Search.
  4. Under Program search results, all Drake J-term Travel Seminars are listed first with an * and Star.  Under Program search results, click on the program you are interested in learning more about.
  5. Review travel seminar program specific information. If you are ready to apply click the blue Apply Now button on the right side of the page.
  6. Log in with your Drake ID and password to start the application.

*Please note: applications for J-Term 2023 travel seminars will open in Terra Dotta on April 14 during the J-Term 2023 Fair. The Fair will take place April 14 from 4:30-6:00pm in Parents Hall South (located in Olmsted). 

Minimum Requirements

All travel seminar participants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA and pass a disciplinary check. Additionally, some seminars have program specific requirements; acceptance criteria for each course will be listed in Terra Dotta when applying.

Application Process

Start your J-Term travel seminar application in Drake’s online portal Terra Dotta.  Use your Drake ID number and password to login and apply for a program.  For more details, see above.

  • May 15 is the priority deadline to apply for a Drake J-Term travel seminar.
  • Students can apply for up to two J-Term travel seminar programs, but will only be able to commit to one.
  • Acceptance criteria for each course will be listed in Terra Dotta when applying. If criteria is not noted for the course you apply to, the default criteria is Student Classification (senior, junior, sophomore).
  • Students should rank their applications (if applying to more than one program), so Drake can see which program the student prefers. Drake will accept students to the first program of their choice, unless the program is full, then we will accept the student to their second choice. Acceptance is contingent on course availability.
  • Students who meet the priority deadline and apply by May 15, will be notified of their application(s) status (accepted, waitlisted, or denial) on June 1.
  • Students who commit to a program in Terra Dotta need to pay a $500 deposit at that time.
  • You will NOT apply or register through MyDusis. Once you are committed to a travel seminar, Drake will register you through MyDusis.
  • Apply for travel seminars through Terra Dotta: 

COVID-19 Information

  • Please note that all programs are subject to itinerary and programmatic modifications due to COVID-19 as required by Drake University, the program provider, or the host country. Additionally, participants will need to adhere to any required testing protocols, whether set by Drake Univeristy, the program provider, or the host country.
  • Drake requires all students participating in any study abroad or study away program to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster shot if eligible by U.S. regulations. This is a significant step for our institution to return to normal operations and ensure travel opportunities remain safe and viable for Drake students going forward. Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons.

Timeline and Payment Schedule

  • Thursday, April 14: Applications open in Terra Dotta during the J-Term 2023 Fair. On this date, students can now view and apply for J-term 2023 programs.
  • Sunday, May 15: Priority deadline
  • Wednesday, June 1: Notification of acceptance, waitlist or denial
  • Wednesday, June 15: $500 deposit due
  • Thursday, September 15: program cost due in full

*Program prices are set and differentiate between each program.  If you do not see a price for a program, the price is forthcoming. Students will not be asked to commit to a program without finalized pricing. Given this, students should still apply to any program they have interest in, whether a final price has been set or not.


There are two rounds of scholarship application reviews for Drake’s J-Term travel seminars. The first Drake Global Learning Scholarships deadline is May 15. The second review happens during the fall semester.

Students apply for Drake travel seminar scholarships by completing the “Global Learning Scholarship Application” form in Terra Dotta as part of their application. Applications will be reviewed based on the quality of their essay and based on financial need, except the Levin Scholarship which is not financial need based.

Outside scholarship sources for international experiences can be found at:


For questions about your specific travel seminar, contact the course instructor. For general study abroad questions or issues with Terra Dotta, contact

Austria: Comprehensive Patient Assessment and Interprofessional Collaboration

HSCI 150: Comprehensive Patient Assessment and Interprofessional Collaboration

Instructor(s): Alisa Drapeaux


Course Description:Patient assessment is a core skill of all health care professionals. Health Science and Pharmacy students enrolled will acquire a basic foundation of knowledge and skills regarding patient assessment in order to achieve the following goals:

  1. Proficiently obtain and monitor a patient’s vitals
  2. Demonstrate effective communication skills for future interactions with patients and healthcare professionals
  3. Complete an appropriate patient history and document findings
  4. Communicate appropriately in regards to patient evaluation, care, and referral 
  5. Conduct basic clinical screenings including neurological, musculoskeletal, and wellness
  6. Become aware of various equipment used in healthcare and basic set up of the equipment
  7. Become aware of common treatment approaches to specific medical diagnoses in the United States
  8. Outline the primary differences between the United States and Austrian healthcare system to include: direct access, health care law, treatment approaches, etc.
  9. Discuss interprofessional education efforts in the United States and understand how they relate to overall patient assessment
  10. Describe the overall process and challenges that were faced working within an intercultural team


Other Program Details: 

  • Required Prerequisites: Pharm 125, Bio 12, or HSCI 125
  • Preference will be given to: Health Science and P1 pharmacy students.
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply to the program in Terra Dotta.


Bahamas: Leadership at Sea

LEAD 110: Leadership at Sea

Instructors: Tom Buckmiller & Molly Shepard


Course Description: Leadership At Sea is a blend of classroom and experiential learning focusing on leadership development, team building, and seamanship. The course features sailing in the Bahamas aboard the schooner Liberty Clipper. The goal of the course is to elevate one’s ability to navigate new environments (Nassau and a tall ship), learn new languages (culture language of Nassau and sailing terminology) and to work successfully in teams, follow and lead. We will discover and apply the Situational Leadership model to our time at sea and develop a language of leadership for effective communication aboard ship. We will spend one week on-campus followed by six days in Nassau. Our time in Nassau will include meeting with officials at the American Embassy and the Bahamian Government, meeting the first officers and tour a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, completing an historical tour of Nassau and attending a session with student leaders at the College of the Bahamas. We will also participate in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure and Marathon Bahamas (run or staff water stations). We will then set sail for a week exploring the Bahamas Out Islands. The Liberty Clipper, a U.S. Coast Guard licensed 125’ gaff-rigged schooner, will serve as our leadership laboratory enabling students to rotate through ship positions while taking more ownership of all sailing-related tasks. While at sea, the itinerary includes small island exploration, kayaking, snorkeling, and small craft sailing (


Other Program Details:

  • Registration Preferences:
    • LEAD students, students in Adams Academy, student leaders and students in college-specific leadership programs
  • AOI: Global and Cultural Understanding
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

 Click here to apply to the program in Terra Dotta.

England: Theatre History in London

THEA 120T: Theatre History in London

Instructors: Josie Poppen & John Graham


Course Description: In this 3-credit course we will look at the literature and practice of the theatre from the point of view of the society in which it operated. We will examine how theatre reflects the assumptions of a culture and how theatre artists use their medium to express their belief or disbelief in those systems. This class will cover theatre from the Ancient Greeks to Jacobean Theatre in England. Through an immersion in the theatrical culture of London, and the historical sites we will visit (ancient and modern), we will be able to get a full understanding of the role theatre has played and continues to play in our culture and society. You do not need to be a Theatre major to take this course, nor are there any pre-requisites. 


Other Course Details:

  • AOIs: Artistic Thinking and Historical Foundations
  • Preference will be given to: Theatre students (B.F.A., B.A., or minors)
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply to this program in Terra Dotta.

Hawaii: Understanding Diverse Populations

COUN 145/245: Understanding Diverse Populations

Instructors: Matt Bruinekool & Jill Johnson


Course Description: Learn about the history of mental illness and how a Clubhouse Model of treatment is more respectful of people across different cultures. Travel to Kauai and spend 11 days learning about the history of Hawaii, how mental illness is viewed within the Hawaiian culture, and about Friendship House (A Clubhouse). In addition to engaging in experiential learning activities at Friendship House students will travel around the island visiting museums, historical landmarks, and towns learning about the history of Hawaii and impact of U.S. occupation, tourism, and globalization on the Hawaiian culture as a better way to gain a multicultural perspective on mental illness.


Other Course Details:

  • AOIs: Historical Foundations & Global and Cultural Understanding 
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply to this program in Terra Dotta. 

India: Developing Democracy: Critical Social, Political, and Religious Issues in India on the Eve of Independence: 1945-47

INTD/HONR 85: Developing Demoncracy: Critical Social, Political, and Religious Issues in India on the Eve of Independence: 1945-1947

Instructors: Brad Crowell and Elizabeth Robertson


Course Description: In this course, we will examine "developing democracy" by engaging in an intensive "reacting to the past" role-playing game. You will assume the roles of important political figures and factions in India during the period leading up to Indian independence from Britain. The "game" will be conducted in the country and city where the actual pre-independence conference took place. We will visit various sites in India of importance to the development and progress of British rule, to the development and maintenance of the various religious groups central to Indian traditions, and to the emergence of the nationalist movement and movement toward independence in the 20th century.


Cities Visited: Delhi, Agra, Shimla, and Amritsar

Itinerary Highlights: Taj Mahal, Golden Temple, Jama Mosque, Red Fort, Shimla (a town in the foothill of the Himalaya Mountains), and Lotus Temple

Other Course Details:

  • AOIs: Engaged Citizen, Global and Cultural Understanding, or Historical Foundations
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply to this program in Terra Dotta.


Indonesia: Urban Development and Conservation in Indonesia

ENSS 111: Indonesia: Urban Development and Conservation in Indonesia

Instructors: Dian Nostikasari & Michael Renner


Course Description: As extreme climate events intensify and become more frequent, much of the disaster impacts will be concentrated in cities around the world. As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is currently the fastest sinking city in the world where approximately 40 percent of its land area is under sea level. In 2019, the Indonesian government announced a plan to move the capital city to East Kalimantan. As home to one of largest stretches of rainforest and important biodiversity, Kalimantan has faced challenges of deforestation, its relationship with the explosive growth of palm oil plantations, and the conservation impact this has on orangutans (which are an endangered species) and other elements of the ecosystem. This course seeks to understand the relationships between the human and non-human environment within a global sustainability context. The course will explore existing conservation efforts in the surrounding areas of the proposed location and how they negotiate between conservation goals and future developments. 

Other Course Details:

  • Registration Preference will be given to Environmental Science and Sustainability majors.
  • AOI: Global and Cultural Understanding
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

 Click here to apply to the program in Terra Dotta.

Kosovo: Repairing and Rebuilding

EDU 199: Kosovo: Repairing and Rebuilding

Instructors: Tonia Land & Jen Thoma


Course Description: Kosovo is a new country that declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, and was formally recognized by the United Nations in 2017. This course will examine the history of Kosovo and the surrounding region, including  the political, religious, cultural, linguistic, and economic traditions of Kosovo. These aspects are represented in contemporary efforts to formulate past, present, and future Kosovar identities and attempt to resolve historically-pernicious conflicts. Course content will be of particular interest for students interested in: art, linguistics, conflict resolution, cultural studies, education, global security, sociology, anthropology, history, international studies, and political science.


Other Course Details: 

  • AOIs: Global & Cultural Understanding; Historical Foundations; Honors elective
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply to this program in Terra Dotta.

The Netherlands: Global Legal Responses to Climate Change

LPS 135: Global Legal Repsonses to Climate Change

Instructor: Abigail Stepnitz


Course Description: On this seminar you will develop a familiarity with the core legal and social ideas related to climate change at the international level. You will learn how to approach, analyze and engage with various approaches to climate change in law, politics, and society. 

The Netherlands is uniquely well-placed to explore the intersection of domestic and international legal and social responses to the changing climate. The Netherlands faces unique domestic challenges regarding climate change. In a country that has and continues to face the extreme consequences of sea-level rise we are able to explore domestic legal, policy and social adaptations that support communities and the environment. At the same time a number of important international legal institutions are present in The Hague, including The International Criminal Court and The International Court of Justice, as well as a range of climate and justice focused NGOs. Our visits to these stakeholders will allow us to develop an understanding of the ways that cooperation and legal responses occur at the international level. 

Other Course Details 

  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply to this program in Terra Dotta.

New Zealand: Communication and Tourism Analysis

BUS 198: New Zealand: Communication and Tourism Analysis

Instructors: Amy Vaughan & Brian Vander Naald


Course Description: This course focuses on the development of business presentation skills required to be successful in today’s dynamic business environment. These presentations will incorporate data from researching local tourism sites and their respective industries. The cultural impact of the country of New Zealand’s indigenous people as well as other environmental factors of this largely marine environment coastal region will be researched.  Analysis of their economic and social contributions will also be evaluated. An emphasis on continual learning, practice and improvement will be facilitated through faculty feedback and coaching. Student-professionals will demonstrate how to develop and deliver a variety of professional informative presentations in multiple settings and with varied, diverse audiences. Students will also demonstrate how to successfully collaborate with others in group presentation situations.

Other Course Details: 

  • AOI: Engaged Citizen; Counts as BUS 073 for Business students
  • Registration preference will be given to students who need Business 073 and/or the Engaged Citizen AOI
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply to the program in Terra Dotta.

Panama: Issues in Global Business and Leadership

BUS 198: Panama: Issues in Global Business and Leadership

Instructors: Daniel Connelly and Patrick Bourgeacq


Course Description: The Republic of Panama is situated on the isthmus that connects North and South America. As such, it is often considered the “Crossroads of the Americas,” which makes it an important international hub for business and tourism. It is a country rich in history and known for many things; including, its vibrant culture, geographic diversity, sustainability, and its strategic importance in the global transportation because of the Panama Canal. This course will focus on some of the business challenges and opportunities of doing business in a global context through experiential learning, cultural immersion, readings, and travel to Panama to meet with business and government leaders. It will examine a broad range of business issues related to leadership, economic development, global supply-chain management, sustainable development, and global trade policies and practices. Through this course, students will gain exposure to high-level executives and some of the business challenges and decisions they face while also getting to experience some of the vast history, culture, and wonders of Panama.


Other Course Details: 

  • AOI: Global and Cultural Understanding
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply for the program in Terra Dotta.

South Africa/Zimbabwe: Religions of Africa

REL 151/HONR 151: South Africa & Zimbabwe: Religions of Africa

Instructors: Timothy Knepper & Herbert Moyo


Course Description: This course serves both as an introduction to religion in South Africa and as means of developing a collaborative photo-narrative project about religion in South Africa with Drake’s international partner, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). In the way of introduction, we will learn the history of (religion in) South Africa, especially in encounter with colonial powers and Christian missionaries. In the way of the photo-narrative project, we will work with faculty and students at UKZN to begin identifying and learning about religious sites in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa, especially as they relate to an environmentally themed book.

Other Course Details:

  • AOI: Global and Cultural Understanding
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply for the program in Terra Dotta.

Thailand: Researching Thailand: Research, Exploration & Reflection

LIBR 066: Thailand: Research, Exploration, and Reflection

Instructors: Bart Schmidt & Rachel Sindelar


Course Description: This course is an exploration of Thailand and Thai culture and satisfies the Information Literacy AOI. Students will work with a variety of different source types to compare the impact perspective and purpose has on information communication. Students will begin the class through a variety of academic and cultural experiences in Chiang Mai Thailand in order to select a research topic of interest. Once back on campus, students will research their topic in greater depth in preparation for an annotated bibliography and brief presentation. They will integrate information and perspectives from their bibliography into their presentations.

Other Course Details:

  • AOI: Information Literacy
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply for the program in Terra Dotta.

Washington, D.C.: Inside Washington: Exploring Bipartisan Solutions

POLS 119: Inside Washington: Exploring Bipartisan Solutions

Instructor(s): Rachel Caufield 

Course Description: This intensive 2-week experience in Washington, D.C. allows students to investigate the causes and consequences of legislative “gridlock,” the potential for new collaborative policy outcomes, and the role of mass media in our national political conversation.  As our public discourse becomes more polarized, Americans are increasingly convinced that real and sustained policy solutions are impossible.  But is this true?  Where is compromise possible and how can we create a new narrative that encourages innovative problem solving?

Other Course Details:

  • AOI: Engaged Citizen
  • Preferred Prerequisite: POLS 001
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply for the program in Terra Dotta.

India (PIMS): Special Topics in Health Systems*

HSCI 147: International Health Topics

Instructor: Pramod Mahajan


Course Description: This Health Care focused course combines international internship and service learning experiences with pre and post readings, discussions, and reflections in order to maximize student learning, increase student awareness of cultural issues, and increase personal growth related to working in a Low-to-Middle Income Country.  Student will build skills in life-long learning, values and ethics, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Permission of the instructor needed to register.​

*This is a travel course, not seminar. It does not follow the travel seminar model, and is a specialized CPHS course offered through our Exchange Partner: Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS)
Questions?  Contact Pramod Mahajan, College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences


Other Course Details:

  • Registration Note: Contact Prof. Mahajan if interested in applying for the course.  
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply for the program in Terra Dotta.

Malaysia (Taylors): Special Topics in Health Systems*

PHAR 150: Malaysia: Special Topics in Health Systems

Instructor: Timothy Welty


Course Description: This study abroad course is designed for students interested in comparisons between the US healthcare system and healthcare systems in other countries. This course combines an international experience discussing and observing the healthcare system in Malaysia with the healthcare system in the United States. Students will have opportunities to study the challenges faced in the delivery and funding of healthcare and compare approaches taken in a high-income country with approaches taken in an upper-middle-income country. The course will involve readings and reflections on healthcare systems and the delivery of healthcare. These will be combined with lectures and discussions with Drake and Taylors faculty. There will be opportunities to visit healthcare facilities in Malaysia and meet with healthcare providers to understand the delivery of healthcare. Topics like the roles of healthcare professionals, funding of healthcare, regulatory control, and government involvement may be considered in this course. Students will be required to complete a project on a specific topic related to healthcare delivery, comparing the United States and Malaysia. At the end of the course, students will make a presentation on their project. Permission of the instructor is needed to register.

*This is a travel course, not seminar. It does not follow the travel seminar model, and is a specialized CPHS course offered through our Exchange Partner: Taylor's University. 

Questions? Contact Timothy Welty, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (

Other Course Details:

  • Required prerequisites: Students in the pharmacy or health sciences program or are in the Global and Comparative Public Health Concentration are eligible for this travel seminar. 
    • Pharmacy students must have completed the PHAR 171 Health Care Systems and Policy course. 
    • Health science students must have completed the HSCI 025 Introduction to the US Health Care System course. 
    • Drake students from other disciplines who are the in the Global and Comparative Public Health Concentration must have completed the HSCI 104/POLS 127 Global Health course.
  • Pricing, program details, and dates can be found on Terrra Dotta.  

Click here to apply for the program in Terra Dotta.

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