Spring 2025 | Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration

IU 172C New Student Seminar

Overview of Course

By exploring far and wide, we better understand ourselves. According to Pausanias, an ancient Greek traveler and geographer, living and learning abroad may contribute to one of the oldest cultural adages, “know thyself.” The Hero’s Journey, a timeless narrative structure, resonates deeply with the transformative experience of study abroad. Throughout the semester, students will utilize The Hero's Journey framework to examine and reflect on their Semester at Sea experience.

This seminar will strengthen students’ critical, creative, and social skills through unique interactions with food, literature, film, music, art, health, sport, and more. It does not presume that students will arrive with any particular expertise (or interest) in these categories, but that they are ready and willing to investigate cross-cultural themes directly related to our ports of call. By analyzing and experiencing a wide array of cultural and academic touchstones, this class will provide students with the tools they need to succeed at the university level, while further defining their educational and professional aspirations. A diverse range of material will also allow for a deeper understanding of one another, becoming integral members of the shipboard and global communities. Throughout the course, students will consider and address global issues and challenges through awareness, reflection, responsibility, collaboration, equity, social justice, and sustainability. In essence, this seminar is designed to support a journey of exploration as students become heroes of their own stories through a transformative quest that shapes their identity and purpose, and equips them to address global issues.