SPAN: A one-of-a-kind program

The Student Project for Amity among Nations (SPAN), Minnesota’s oldest travel and research abroad program, can have a permanent impact on a student’s life and career path.  The program has the potential to open doors to future careers, graduate studies, and opportunities such as a Fulbright scholarship.  SPAN is open to students from all disciplines and from all Minnesota colleges and universities.

Summer 2022: England

Next summer students will be travelling to England.

Overview of the Program:

The program consists of three phases:

1) Pre-departure preparation and study:  Before going abroad, students will enroll in an intensive research methods course as part of which they will select a research topic and submit a research proposal.  Students will learn research techniques and begin the process of making professional and personal contacts in their host country.  During this period students will also get to know their fellow SPANners and their faculty advisor, who will provide instruction on the history, culture, language, and current events of the host country.

2) Summer abroad: Students will spend six to eight weeks abroad sightseeing, exploring, and engaging with a new culture.  At the same time, SPANners will pursue their research through various ways relating to their individual research topic, such as visiting libraries and museums, doing lab work, and conducting interviews, etc.  Formal language learning may also be incorporated into students’ day-to-day activities.

3) Upon return: After returning to the U.S., students will compile, analyze, and write up their research findings.  The final SPAN project consists of a substantive paper.  Students can otherwise complete a relevant hybrid project with faculty approval.

What makes a great SPANner?

Students who are independently minded, intellectually curious and who desire to immerse themselves in another culture as well as conduct research in another country may be a good fit for SPAN.  The academic requirements of SPAN will involve a multi-month commitment on the part the SPANner, whose initiative and resourcefulness will be key to the successful completion of the SPAN program.  Flexibility, a desire to learn, and the ability to be independent will contribute to a student’s enjoyment of the SPAN experience.