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 2023: London, England

This coming summer 2023, students researchers will be traveling to England.

Overview of SPAN@Hamline, the SPAN academic program:

The academic, credit-awarding travel and research program consists of three phases:

1) Pre-departure preparation and study:  Before going abroad, students enroll in an intensive research methods course during which students 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, as they are called, and their faculty advisor, who will provide instruction on the history, culture, language, and current events of the host destination. [See: GLOB3980, Interdisciplinary Research Practicum – Hamline campus&abroad – 6 credits]

2) Summer abroad: Students will spend five (5) weeks abroad sightseeing, exploring and engaging with a new destination and culture.  At the same time, SPANners will pursue their individual research projects through various approaches such as visiting libraries and museums, working in a laboratory or conducting interviews with people who have expert knowledge on a student’s self-chosen research topic. In summer 2023, London-based SPANners will be guided and mentored by SPAN Faculty Advisor and Hamline University Professor Leila DeVriese, Ph.D.  Where appropriate, formal language learning while abroad may also be incorporated into day-to-day activities. 

3) Upon return: After returning to the U.S., students will compile, analyze and write about their research findings and conclusions. The final SPAN project consists of a substantive research paper. Students may otherwise complete an arts or media-related hybrid project after obtaining SPAN faculty advisor approval from Hamline Professor Leila DeVriese, Ph.D.  

Who makes a great SPANner?

Students who are independently minded, intellectually curious and who want to immerse themselves in another lanaguage and 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 work independently will contribute to a student’s enjoyment of the SPAN experience.