Author Archives: iusboverseas

New Study Abroad Trip to Iceland in 2018

Iceland, affectionately labeled the “Island of Fire and Ice,” is known for its volcanoes and glaciers. However, there are also impressive waterfalls, places offering solitude and silence, and beautiful sandy beaches stretching for miles.


Slated for Summer 2018, IU South Bend will sponsor a new study abroad program for students to experience this magical place. Using Holar University College, located in Holar in Hjaltadalur, as our base, we will explore places such as Snaefellsnes (the mystical volcano known as the entrance point to the planet’s interior, made famous by Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth), Reykjavik (the world’s northernmost capital), Gullfoss (Iceland’s best known waterfall, also labeled the “golden falls”), Vestmannaeyjar (comprised of 16 small islands – Heimaey, the only inhabited island of the chain – and is one of the world’s newer volcanic creations), and Akureyri (Iceland’s second city having the country’s most photographed attractions).

The purpose of the SUST-B399: Human Behavior & Social Institutions course, besides exploring the places listed above, and others, is to investigate through assigned readings, onsite explorations, and interactions with native Icelanders the sustainable living practices occurring there, including those embedded within the country’s social, scientific, political, and educational institutions, and contrast them with what is currently evidenced within the United States. The goal is to develop a critical and analytical skill set necessary in becoming global citizens guided by mutual respect and trust.

“Canada, Our Near Neighbor to the North”

Canada, our near neighbor to the North, seems very familiar, but also very different. It has a unique history and has developed its own characteristic approach to public issues, social policies and the rights of its citizens, and lately is playing an outside role on the world stage. What can we learn from this country with its universal health care, embrace of refugees, and charismatic, yoga-loving feminist Prime Minister? At the same time, how can other democracies learn from Canada’s attempts to reconcile a painful genocidal history and continued mistreatment of indigenous communities?  In a cost-effective B399 course, slated for travel between Spring and Summer 2018 semesters, students will spend 10 days divided between Canada’s beautiful capital Ottawa, a diverse and green city in the province of Ontario, and Montreal, a major historical and cultural French Canadian city in Quebec. With local Anglo, Québécois, and indigenous experts as guides, and drawing on the rich museums, universities, and cultural sites in each city, students will learn that while all nations face challenges with regard to social, civil, and human rights, there are many different ways to meet these challenges, even among the pluralistic democracies of North America.
Canada IndigenousTour guideMany people offer guided tours of various indigenous sites around the beautiful and culturally significant areas of Canada. Pictured here is Jaime Koebel, who designed and runs the powerful Indigenous Walks tour that our students will experience. This experience exposes students to some of the vast cultural diversity North America has to offer in the best way possible, by giving them a tangible experience through which to learn.


Blog post by April Lidinsky

Terrors of Terezin: The Juxtaposition Behind the Walls

Standing here I am locked in by the same four walls. The same four walls that innocent Jewish people were forced to stand in, side by side, in a cell made for one. The origin of the cell was intended for the use of punishing one person for their actions against the Nazi regime. However, people upon people were piled into the room. The cell had one cut out square in the cement wall for the purpose of ventilation. Yet, the ventilation provided little to no air for the prisoners. During the middle of the night, forced to sleep standing up, they were suffocated to death.

Terezin was established in 1780 on the orders of Emperor Joseph II. It was constructed as a fortress to protect Bohemia against the Prussian troops. The fortress, however, was never used for its original purposes. By the end of the 19th century, the facility was being used for military and political prisoners. The most infamous prisoner was Gavrilo Princip. He was convicted of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the assassination that it said to have started World War 1. He died in cell number 1 of tuberculosis.

Terezin 1

After Hitler had successfully invaded Czechoslovakia, on June 10, 1940, the Gestapo took control over Terezin. The first inmates were moved in the small fortress, the location of the Jewish prison, four days later. The larger fortress was used as a Jewish Ghetto during World War 2.

The eerie presence of the prior history hits you as soon as you drive into the fortress, which is still an inhabited town.  The walls of the fortress are built for protection of the people living within. Despite the fortification intended for security most of Terezin’s history was never used for this purpose. The walls of Terezin saw more destruction than preservation.

terezin 2

The irony of the location is found around every corner. First and foremost, the irony that the fortress was built for protecting the people within it yet, thousands of innocent lives were lost inside the fortified walls. There is also the interesting juxtaposition of the run down isolation cells traced with death. The location of the old moat around the town is now filled with an abundance of green grass. From the bridge connecting the prison cells to the crematorium, you can look off into the distance and run your eyes down the fortified walls. The ground is full of vibrant green grass. The top of the walls are crowded with overgrown weeds and grass. The beauty of the scenery makes you forget the death that occurred beyond your standing position.

Terezin 3

Lastly, it is hard not to address the elephant in the room when visiting. It is the first thing not only I but many of the people in the tour group recognized. There are still a few thousand people residing in Terezin. They live in the same homes that Jews were placed in during World War 2. Within the Ghetto, many people died of disease and famine. Yet, these people are willingly living within these same buildings despite their gory history.

The overall tone of Terezin is hard to capture in words. It is not even plausible to capture it in pictures either. However, you can be assured that it is powerful, haunting and beautiful all mixed into one.


Additional resources about Terezin:


Blog post written by: Samantha Blair

Prague vs. Berlin by Savannah Welnetz

One of the greatest gifts in life is when things don’t go as planned. This was definitely the case for my study abroad trip to Berlin and Prague. I originally signed up in order to finally get to see the infamous German capital. The idea of Prague was just a pleasant bonus. I wasn’t even sure where it was until I started the classes. But, boy, did I discover a gem.
I fully expected to spend my time in Prague looking forward to Berlin. And in some ways I did. But in others, I never wanted to leave. One such moment was anytime I could stand and gazing up at the Prague Castle. I will never forget the image so long as I live.
The St. Vitus Cathedral peaks out from behind the lengthy castle, confusing tourists who don’t know any better. The castle itself stretches out almost the entire length of the hill it sits upon. The orange titled roof blends in with the similarly painted roofs of the other buildings and homes beneath it, again stumping the unknowledgeable tourist. What struck me the most about this postcard perfect view is the fact that no matter where I went in Prague, no matter how much of a glimpse I caught of the fortress, it was still beautiful. There was never a time in which it looked ugly or off. Even the view from our hostel made it shine.



In addition to the fact that the castle and cathedral looks epic from any angle, the dynamic duo looks just as breath taking at all times of the day. In our exploration of Prague, every time we cross the Charles Bridge I made sure to capture at least one or two quick shots of the castle in the hopes of capturing just how gorgeous the view really was.

I never did manage to capture a picture that fully communicated to the viewer the sheer beauty of the castle. And I often felt guilty for failing to be able to share this hidden gem to my friends and family back home. However, what I ended up doing was capturing a series of shots that showed the castle at different times of the day. Each picture makes the castle look like almost a different location.

Prague Castle during the day…



Prague Castle at dusk…



And finally, Prague Castle at night…



Obviously to the harder to impress, it is the same location. And the not-so-stereotypical looking castle can be written off as something not so astounding. But as someone who grew up with Disney princesses and dreams of fairy tale places, Prague and its castle view really gave the feel that I was standing in the middle of said dream. Standing on the bridge or looking up from our hostel, I felt like I was looking up at a marvel of mankind. Often times I would be just ogling and committing the picture to memory when I would think, “People get to live in this ancient city and look up at this same castle I am everyday”. It’s hard to wrap my mind around that.

For all of our modern technology, I’m not sure there will ever be a camera that could capture the near angelic image of Prague Castle to my satisfaction.


For more information on the castle:


Brexit: Implications Home and Abroad

Is the European Union Falling Apart?

After World War II, European states realized the need for an alliance in Europe to ensure that another war was not an option. In order to do this, European states began to not only unite but also intertwined their economies. This resulted in the creation of the European Union (EU). The EU brings together 28 different countries, but its foundation is shaking. And, on June 23rd, 2016, the votes came pouring in on whether Britain was to exit (British Exit; or ‘Brexit‘ for short) or remain in the EU.

Each political side had their advantages and their disadvantages. Anti-establishment members, or “Pro-Brexit” voters, called on Britain to leave the EU. They believed Brexit was necessary in order to protect what was left of the country’s culture which would benefit their economy by not having to follow EU business regulations. By leaving the EU, Pro-Brexit voters believed Britain would be able to regain its control over its independence. With the EU’s preset regulations on immigration, Britain did not get much of a say in the handling of the country’s labor migration. Many argued that immigrants would work in Britain for fewer benefits and lower wages. With jobs of British citizens being threatened, many individuals began seeing Britain’s role in the EU as a negative for Britain’s working class citizens.

On the other hand, “Remain” supporters proposed that it would, in fact, be better for Britain’s economy to stay in the EU. Those who voted to remain believed that the consequences of leaving the European Union were even more harmful to Britain. Remain voters believed Brexit’s potential would not be worth its risk to the country’s economy. Fearing the break would cause major economic problems, Remain voters saw the EU as a security blanket and hoped to keep things in Britain the same. However, in the early morning of June 24th, 2016, the votes had been counted. Winning by 51.9%, Pro-Brexit voters beat the Remain supporters, who came up short with only 48.1% of the total vote.

The result in numbers

In order for Britain to completely withdraw from the European Union, many deals and treaties still have to be met. But since the vote, changes throughout the country have already begun. These changes not only affect European natives, but also Americans. Well, at least those with European stocks or those who plan to travel to England and other European hotspots soon.

What does that mean for the 2017 London/Edinburgh trip?

The Currency Conversion:

Both England and Scotland use pound sterling as their form of currency. The pound sterling is commonly referred to as ‘pounds’ and it uses the ‘£’ symbol. Before the Brexit (06/23/16), you would need $1.49 (USD) to purchase £1. But since Brexit, (as of 07/14/16), £1 is equal to $1.32 (USD). Right now, the gap between the pound sterling and the US dollar is shrinking, which is great news for Americans who are planning to travel to European countries such as England and Scotland.

IU South Bend’s London/Edinburgh trip is not scheduled until Spring of 2017. With this is mind, a lot could change between now and the trip. There is still plenty of time for the pound’s worth to continue its decline, stagnate, or quite possibly, rebound completely. As of right now, very few predictions can be made about the future of Britain’s economy. But for the time being, Americans currently traveling to Europe can expect their dollars to travel further as well.

For more information about IUSB’s International Program, classes, or study abroad opportunities visit our website!

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Blog post written by: Margaret Belt



Free Travel Weekends in Italy

Students preparing to study abroad in 2016 should keep in mind that traveling to places not on the itinerary can enhance your international experience. There are many great places to visit in Italy and Europe as a whole, so choosing may be difficult. In 2015, groups of students used their free travel weekends by visiting places like Cinque Terre, Milan, Naples, and Pompeii of Italy as well as Madrid, Spain and Paris, France. You’re already so close, take your experience one step further!

Rome is a destination that has it all; beautiful scenery, amazing art works, and an incredibly rich history. Art and history students all over the world revere a chance to see Rome’s offerings. From the Pantheon to the Vatican to the Colosseum, this may be the right way to spend a travel weekend! Amo Roma!


Cityscape of Rome, Italy.


A fountain in Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Rome.


A small section of the Vatican’s numerous beautiful ceilings. Vatican City, Rome.


The Pantheon still stands despite nearly 2000 years of use. The Fontana del Pantheon (Fountain of the Pantheon) highlights the Piazza della Rotonda. Rome, Italy.


International Speaker Series

IUSB International Programs Presents:
International Speaker Series November 2015

Sam Joyce – “Contemporary Race Relations in Brazil and Racial Representations in the Media”  Monday November 9, 11:30am NS 036

Dr. Samantha Joyce is Assistant Professor of Mass Communications in the Raclin School of the Arts. Born in Brazil, she received her undergraduate degree at Universidade Federal Fluminense before moving to the US for graduate work. Dr. Samantha Joyce explores the role of media in cultural formations and cross-cultural communication as well as the role of the media and social change, ethics, class, gender, and sexuality.

Jeff Luppes – “Why Germany Still Matters” Monday November 16, 10am DW 1275

Dr. Jeff Luppes is Assistant Professor of German. His published research focuses on postwar memory, Germany identities, and German sports. Dr. Luppes teaches all levels of German language, literature, and culture. His greatest joy as a teacher is helping students discover what they find most fascinating about German culture.

Monica Tetzlaff – “Ghana Today” Monday November 16, 1pm, DW 1275

Dr. Monica Tetzlaff is an Associate Professor of History. She spent the last academic year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ghana. In addition to her interest in African History, Tetzlaff specializes in African American History, Women’s History, and the history of social movements.

Aynur Onur “Turkey Today” Tuesday November 17, 8:30-9:45am in WD 1275 and repeats at 11:30-12:45 in EA 1010

Originally from Turkey, Aynur Onur is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research focuses on the relationship between gender equity goals, secularism, and military service in Turkey, a secular Muslim state.

Haiyan Yin and Joe Chaney – China and Hong Kong panel Tuesday November 17, 2:30pm 1290 DW
Haiyan Yin “Doing Business in China Today” and Joe Chaney “Hong Kong Today”

Dr. Haiyan Yin is an Associate Professor of International Business in the Leighton School of Business and Economics. Prior to joining IU South Bend, Dr. Yin conducted research with the World Bank in Washington DC.  She teaches courses in international finance, international business, corporate finance, and financial markets and institutions.

Dr. Joe Chaney is Professor of English and Director of the Master’s of Liberal Studies Program. His published research includes work on Shakespearean drama, Renaissance rhetoric, and eighteenth-century autobiography. He spent the 2009-2010 academic year as a Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong and advised eight universities on best practices in general education programs. He will be the co-trip leader for a new study abroad opportunity to Hong Kong and Japan 2016.

Dora Natella – “Italy today” Tuesday November 17, 4 pm NS 113

Dora Natella is Associate Professor of Fine Arts in the Raclin School of the Arts. Raised in Italy, she studied figurative sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. Her roots in Italy and Venezuela as well as her experiences learning and teaching in the US have shaped her art. In 2016, Professor Natella will lead a study abroad trip to Italy in 2016

Shawn Nichols-Boyle – “Embracing and Erasing the Past: Exploring the Complexity of Modern Ireland” Tuesday November 17, 5:30 pm DW 1185

Dr. Shawn Nichols-Boyle is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department and Director of the English as a Second Language Program. In 2017, Dr. Nichols-Boyle will lead a new study abroad experience to Ireland. Dr. Nichols-Boyle received her Ph.D. in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin and lived in the Dublin area for five years.

Anurag Pant – “India Today” Wednesday November 18, 1pm

Originally from India, Dr. Anurag Pant received a BA from Mumbai University and a Master’s degree in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi. Dr. Pant is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Leighton School of Business and Economics and teaches courses related to consumer behavior and marketing research.

 Eric McGinness – “Teaching English In China,” Thursday November 19 11:30am EA 1019

Eric McGinness is student in the IUSB Masters of Education program. He has traveled widely and has lived in in France and Israel. In his talk, he will discuss his experiences teaching English for three years in China.

Yuri Obata – “Japan’s Shimane Prefecture: The Land of Eight Million Gods” Thursday November 19 2:30pm DW 1290

Originally from Japan, Dr. Yuri Obata received a Ph.D. from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder in August of 2005. Her research and teaching interests are communication law and culture, Japanese and international mass media and popular culture, and laws on pornography

Harry Vasilopoulos – “Greece Today” Thursday December 3, 10am EA 1019

Professor Harry Vasilopoulos has expertise in Human Resources, Organizational Development, Change Management, Instructional Design, and Industrial Relations.  Originally from Athens Greece, Professor Vasilopoulos is the trip leader for a new study abroad opportunity in Greece in 2016.