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2025 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 Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Europe, and the Middle East. 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 the 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. You can learn more about different types of programs on the study abroad website.
  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 2025 travel seminars opened in Terra Dotta on March 6, 2024 during the J-Term 2025 Fair. The priority deadline for all travel seminars is Monday, April 1. Programs that have not filled will be re-opened after April 1, and new deadline will be set (TBD).

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.

  • April 1, 2024 is the priority deadline to apply for a Drake J-Term 2025 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 (first preference given to graduate students, then seniors, then juniors, then sophomores).
  • 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 April 1, will be notified of their application(s) status (accepted, waitlisted, or denial) on April 15.
  • Students are given two weeks or less to commit to the program in Terra Dotta and pay a $500 non-refundable deposit.
  • You will NOT and should not apply, register, or withdraw from the travel seminar course through MyDusis. Once you are committed to a travel seminar, Drake's Global Engagement office will register you (and withdraw you, if needed) through the Registrar's Office. Students apply for travel seminars through Terra Dotta: 

Timeline and Payment Schedule

  • Wednesday, March 6: Applications open in Terra Dotta during the J-Term Fair. Students can now view and apply for J-term 2025 programs.
  • Monday, April 1: Priority deadline
  • Monday, April 15: Notification of acceptance, waitlist or denial
  • Wednesday, May 1: $500 deposit due and committing to program
  • Sunday, September 15: program cost due in full


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 109: Comprehensive Patient Assessment and Interprofessional Collaboration

Instructor(s): Leslie Jackson & Michelle Bottenberg


Program Description:

In this study abroad course, students will gain foundational knowledge and develop essential skills in patient assessment, encompassing vital sign monitoring, effective communication, clinical screenings, and familiarity with healthcare equipment. The course will also delve into treatment paradigms within the United States, distinctions in healthcare systems between the U.S. and Austria, interprofessional education, and the dynamics of cross-cultural teamwork.

Other Program Details: 

Bahamas: LEAD at SEA

LEAD 110: Leadership at Sea

Instructors: Tom Buckmiller & Molly Shepard


Program 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. 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:

Hawaii: Understanding Diverse Populations

COUN 145/245: Understanding Diverse Populations

Instructors: Matt Bruinekool & Jill Johnson


Program 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:

India: International Health Topics

HSCI 147: International Health Topics

Instructors: Pramod Mahajan 


Program 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.

Other Course Details:

Italy: Art and Anatomy in Renaissance Italy: the Birth of Modern Medicine

BIO 145: Art and Anatomy in Renaissance Italy: the Birth of Modern Medicine

Instructors: Deb Christensen & Adina Kilpatrick


Program Description: 

This course is for students who are interested in art, anatomy, medicine, and/or cultural influences on science and vice versa. Students will expand their understanding of the rich culture heritage of anatomy education by traveling to Italy, where anatomy and medicine as a modern science began. The role of human anatomy in the training and works of the Renaissance masters will also be explored. We will visit anatomy museums in Europe’s oldest universities in Rome, Florence, Bologna, and Padua. These museums include historic anatomy theaters and centuries-old anatomic wax sculptures. Traditional cultural sites containing Renaissance masterpieces, such as the Vatican museums and Michelangelo’s David, will also be toured. The masterpieces will be considered within the context of how they were influenced by the human dissections conducted by the Renaissance masters and our understanding of human anatomy as it evolved over time.

Other Course Details:

Kosovo: STEM for All: Inclusive Education in Kosovo

CS 195: STEM for All: Inclusive Education in Kosovo

Instructors: Meredith Moore & Daniel Van Sant


Course Description: 

STEM careers are one of the fastest growing fields around the world, including in one of its youngest nations, Kosovo. This course asks the question, “do all people in Kosovo have access to this booming field?” Students will study foundations of inclusive STEM education, partner with local university students in country, and lead STEM activities for youth in Kosovo who are underrepresented in the STEM field. Students will also meet with government agencies, diplomats, NGOs, and other professionals related to education, STEM, disability, diversity, and international relations. Course work will involve readings, curriculum development, group discussions,  reflections, and a presentation. Students will also visit numerous historical, religious, and cultural sites across Kosovo. 

Other Course Details:

Madagascar: Conservation and Development on the Great Red Island

ENSS 111: Conservation and Development on the Great Red Island

Instructors: David Courard-Hauri & TBD


Course Description: 

Madagascar is unlike any other place in the world. The fourth-largest island in the world and isolated from all other landmasses for the last 90 million years (mid-Cretaceous), evolution has proceeded independently there and created organisms seen nowhere else. Over 90% of species are endemic (found only on Madagascar), and with over 100 species of lemur, the cat-like fossa, giant baobab trees and more, it is an ideal place to learn about natural history and evolution. At the same time, it is one of the poorest countries in the world, creating unique challenges as conservation, economic development, inequality, and the legacy of colonialism all interact in complex ways. Over 40% of the island has been deforested over the last halfcentury, mostly as a result of illegal logging, and invasive species are overtaking its unique ecosystems, but with few governmental resources available, conservation and enforcement work falls largely to NGOs. Through visits to iconic parks and cultural sites, as well as a service project that will bring you into the forest, this seminar will expose you to the wonder and tragedy that is the Great Red Island.

Other Course Details: 

Mexico: Cultural Immersion through Music

MUS 160: Cultural Immersion Through Music in Mexico

Instructors: Hector Aguero & Eric Barnum


Program Description:

This course is designed to provide an immersive cultural experience in Mexico through musical performance, appreciation, exploration and engagement with the local food, culture, people, and language. We will prepare and present a concert performance in collaboration with students from the Instituto Superior de Música del Estado de Veracruz. Repertoire chosen is meant to highlight both Mexican and American cultures and as such will comprise pieces by composers of each country. When not rehearsing or performing, students will have an opportunity to explore the local culture through planned excursions to museums, surrounding villages, and historical sites. Students will also attend concert performances by local musical organizations such as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa and the Orquesta Universitaria de Musica Popular. A detailed itinerary will be provided separately.

Other Course Details: 

New Zealand: Communication and Tourism Analysis

BUS 105: New Zealand: Communication and Tourism Analysis

Instructors: Amy Vaughan & Brian Vander Naald


Program 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: 

Panama: Business as a Force for Good

Business as a Force for Good

Instructors: Dean Alejandro Hernandez & Annique Kiel


Program Description: 

Visit the emerging regional logistics hub for Latin America. Get immersed in the dynamic business climate at the City of Knowledge—an innovation campus focused on human and sustainable development. Students will be engaged in a real-world business challenge at Panama Pacifico—a mixed-use development adjacent to the Panama Canal focused on creating a platform that fosters value, creativity, and growth.

Other Course Details: 

Thailand & Vietnam: Research, Exploration, & Reflection

LIBR 066: Research, Exploration, & Reflection in Thailand and Vietnam

Instructors: Bart Schmidt & TBD


Course Description: 

This 3-credit course is an exploration of Thailand and Vietnam and satisfies the Information Literacy AOI. This is an immersive course is designed to offer students a chance to explore and experience different aspects of culture, history & religion in two separate countries in Southeast Asia. Students will begin the class through a variety of academic and cultural experiences in and around both Chiang Mai, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 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:

Washington D.C.: Inside Washington: The Presidential Inauguration

POLS 119: Inside Washington: the Presidential Inauguration

Instructors: Rachel Paine Caufield & Kristin Economos


Program Description: 

Be there on January 20, 2024 when the president is inaugurated! This intensive 2-week experience in Washington, D.C. allows students to dig into the multifaceted political and professional world of Washington. Can this president be successful? Where is compromise possible and what encourages collaborative problem solving? During our time in Washington, we will combine academic meetings, site visits, and an impressive array of guest speakers – including current and former elected officials, party leaders, media personalities, and prominent interest group representatives from all ideological perspectives. Taken together, the course is designed to familiarize you with the structure and institutions of government, the role of the media, dynamic discussion of contemporary policy debates, and the city of Washington, D.C. as both the national capital city and an urban space where people live and work. Along the way, you will have an opportunity to meet and interact with dozens of Drake alumni who are working professionals in the city. The group will maintain a blog that documents and details the topics of the course and our experiences in the city. As you leave Washington, you will have a deeper understanding of the city, the government, and the issues that confront the nation.

Other Course Details:

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