Columbia College Chicago

Faculty-led Programs

Some academic departments at Columbia have created study abroad programs specific to their concentrations. These programs usually run in the J-session and summer and are open to all Columbia students. To find out more about these programs, reference the information below and contact the departments directly.


Writing Abroad: Paris

Writing Abroad | 55-4413J | 3 credits
Writing Abroad | 55-5413J | 3 credits

While exploring the work of writers such as Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin, Gertrude Stein, David Sedaris and others, and through deep interaction with the city of Paris and its rich literary heritage, students have the opportunity to experience firsthand life as a creative writer abroad, to see their work in the context of other writers’ works, and to examine the personal and social contexts for creativity. Class time and specific writing assignments will be supplemented by cultural field trips exploring the literary history of Paris.

Site visits: include a city tour and walking tour of Hemingway's Paris, including lunch at a literary cafe, a trip to the famous Pere LeChaise cemetery (final resting place of Jim Morrison, Balzac, Colette, Richard Wright, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde and many more), a visit to the Carnavalet museum of Paris history and Victor Hugo’s house, and a jazz club outing.

Dates: January 4-18, 2015
Instructor/Contact: Kathie Bergquist, Philip Hartigan

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Mexican Culture and the Arts

Mexican Culture and Arts: Study in Mexico | 51-1390 | 3 credits | GA HU
Spanish levels I-IV and Spanish for Heritage Speakers | 4 credits

Mexican Culture and Arts: Study in Mexico is an interdisciplinary humanities course in the rich and diverse contribution of the art, music and literature and film of Mexico, to be held in Cuernavaca at the Kukulkan Educational Community. The arts of Mexico have been acknowledged worldwide, and Cuernavaca, located one and one half hours from Mexico City with its many museums, provides an ideal setting for fostering an appreciation of Mexican history, literature, music, dance, folklore and film. Students will learn the terminology essential to describe, interpret, and explain these arts in the context of Mexican culture and will enrich their cultural knowledge through living with host families. Students will also take 4 credits of Spanish language courses taught by native speaker faculty from the Kukulcan Spanish Educational Community. You do not need to know Spanish to take part in this program. You will be placed at the appropriate level after you take a placement test on-line and an oral test on arrival.

Dates: 3 week program in January,2015 dates TBA
Instructors/Contacts: RoseAnna Mueller and faculty from the Kukulcan Spanish Educational Community
Additional Contact:  Oscar Valdez

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Writing Abroad: Rome

Topics in Writing Abroad: Rome | 55-4412J (undergrad) | 3 credits
Topics in Writing Abroad: Rome | 55-5512J (graduate) | 3 credits

This J-session course offers an intensive two-week immersion in Rome’s literature, art, history, and culture. Students read fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by noted authors; visit major sites -- the Colosseum, the Vatican, Roman Forum, Pompeii, churches and other historic sites, as well as museums and places associated with noted authors. Students will participate in writing workshops at Lorenzo d’ Medici and write journal entries and reading responses leading to an extended story, essay, or digital project, which may be done in collaboration with students from the Business department.  The course applies to the spring schedule and is open to all students.

Dates: January 5-16, 2015
Instructor/Contact: Randy Albers

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Rome Studies: AEMM

Special Topics: Exhibition Management: International Perspectives | 28-4178J (undergrad) | 3 credits
Special Topics: Exhibition Management: International Perspectives | 28-5178J (grad) | 3 credits

In this J-session, students spend two weeks in Rome, Italy, investigating exhibitions and cultural sites in and around Rome. Through first-hand observation, research, and reflection, students analyze differing approaches to curatorial direction, exhibition design and production, interpretative methodologies, use of technology, and marketing and communication strategies. Particular attention is paid to developing exhibitions for multinational, multicultural, and multilingual audiences as well as similarities and differences to American exhibition models.

Site visits include museums such as the Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel, Capitoline Museum, Borghese, Gallery,the National Rome Museum; Macro: Museum of Contemporary Art; the Keats-Shelley Memorial House and cultural sites including the Roman Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill; Pompeii; Cinecitta film studio; churches and historic sites.

Dates: January 5-16, 2015
Instructor/Contact: Robert Blandford

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Puerto Rico: Arts and Cultural Management

Puerto Rico: Arts and Cultural Management | 28-5250J | 3 credits

This course allows students to experience and investigate the performing, visual, and festival arts and culture scene in San Juan Puerto Rico. Visits to art galleries, theaters, and the San Sebastian Festival  —  the largest music, dance, and artisan crafts festival in the Caribbean   —  give students the opportunity to observe, research, and reflect upon the various strategies, leadership styles, and cultural policies of our Caribbean neighbors. Visits to other cultural institutions and sites, such as the Puerto Rico Film Commission, will further immerse students in the country’s cultural scene, leading to a deeper understanding of the value of diversity in the arts, entertainment, and media, how business and the arts converge, and the impact on culture both locally and in the United States.

Dates: January 8 – 20, 2015
Instructor/Contact: Philippe Ravanas Mary Filice at

Writing Abroad: Prague

Courses Include: Advanced Fiction, Dreams and Fiction Writing, CRW: Kafka, CRW: European Writers, Story and Journal, and others, depending on interest. Prerequisites may be waived. 4-8 undergraduate credits; 3-6 graduate credits

This intensive 6-week session offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in European culture and history as they expand their horizons, worldview, and creativity in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Students live and study in conveniently located housing accessible to cultural attractions, shops, restaurants, and transportation. Students will have ample time to take advantage of Prague’s central location for weekend travel to major European cities. Tours, museums, and visits to cultural attractions compliment course studies.

Dates: 4 week course in June, 2015 dates TBA
Instructors: TBD
Contact: Kathie Bergquist at

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Photography Studies Abroad: Southeast Asia

Photography Studies Abroad: Southeast Asia | 23-2718 (undergrad)
Photography Studies Abroad: Southeast Asia | 23-6791 (graduate)

This is an intensive course, designed for students with a sense of adventure and a commitment to international exploration. We will spend 3 weeks in two of Asia's top urban centers: Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (called Saigon by many). Our goal is to fully experience both the vibrant diversity of Singapore, which was recently dubbed Asia’s ‘Art Hub’, as well as the rich history of Vietnam which has a unique relationship to the United States. Course activities will include site-visits to cultural institutions, museums and artists’ studios, meetings with local artists and curators, workshops and tours. Students will complete assigned readings and active discussions on multiple topics. The class is taught in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. Students from the two countries will travel and work together. Students will also collaborate to produce photography-based projects based on their interests. The work will be presented in exhibition in Singapore and Chicago. Acceptance is based on student’s submission of an application. Pre-requisite Foundations of Photo, 23-1111, or comparable experience. Students who have not taken 23-1111, contact Liz Chilsen.

Dates: 2015 dates TBA
Instructor/Contact: Liz Chilsen
Additional Contact: Laura Bauknecht

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Photography Studies Abroad: The Netherlands

Photography Studies Abroad: The Netherlands | 23-2717 (undergrad)
Photography Studies Abroad: The Netherlands | 23-6792 (graduate)

This is an intensive course, designed for students with a sense of adventure and a commitment to international exploration. Students will spend approximately three weeks creating a portfolio of work in the Netherlands. On route to the longest running school of photography in the Netherlands, the Fotovakschool, students will stop off in London to visit iconic galleries such as the Tate Modern and Photographer’s Gallery. The group will then board a fast speed train from London to Brussels where they will spend time viewing the collection at the Fondation A Stichting among other galleries. Once arriving in the Netherlands the group will spend two weeks of photography tuition under the guidance of Columbia College and Fotovakschool faculty. Students will have the opportunity to work with their Dutch colleagues as they learn about location photography skills in the port city of Rotterdam and art center of Amsterdam. Students will also learn about Dutch historical and contemporary photography practice at such institutions as Foam Gallery and Netherlands Fotomuseum. Acceptance is based on student’s submission of an application. Pre-requisite Foundations of Photo, 23-1111, or comparable experience. Students who have not taken 23-1111, contact Peter Fitzpatrick.

Dates: 2015 dates TBA
Instructors: Peter Fitzpatrick
Contacts: Laura Bauknecht

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Marketing Communication: Prague

Courses include: 54-2550: Global Marketing, this six-credit program will count as department or College electives, and satisfies the Global Awareness requirement.

The Marketing Communication Department is once again excited to offer a study abroad program during Summer 2013 where students learn to apply marketing principles to real life situations. Students will have the unique opportunity to work on a marketing strategy project for an existing client of DraftFCB Prague, a Chicago-based advertising agency.

In addition to working with the ad agency, students will attend a workshop at Diplomatic Academy taught by Diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, network with Czech marketing professionals, Partner with students from the University of Economics in Prague to work on a local non-profit marketing campaign and visit many multinationals located in Prague like Microsoft and AXA Insurance Company. They may have a chance to acquire future internships through the Prague program networks. You will also visit several culturally significant sites to learn about the history and experiences of the Czech citizens.

The program is a five-week marketing and cultural study course taught by Columbia College faculty with many international guest speakers. This six-credit program can count towards a department elective or College elective, and satisfies the Global Awareness credit requirement.

Students and Faculty stay in a four star Hotel Clement in the city centre close to cultural, historic and tourist sites. Please attend an informational meeting offered several times during the Fall and Spring semesters for more details and follow us on Facebook.

Dates: 4 week program in May/June, 2015 dates TBA
Instructors/Contacts: Tom Hamilton and Sandra Kumorowski

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African Diaspora: If Your Hands Are in the Dish

Study Abroad students focus on the history and significant Ghanaian cultural groups (e.g. Akan, Guan, Ga, and Ew) prior to organization into pre-selected course clusters in Ghana (Arts and Craft, Culture and History, and Music and Dance.) Each group will be partnered with arts and/or specialists from their selected emphasis. Local historians, drummer, dancers, weavers, and other artists will work hands on with Study Abroad participants at each regional site. Course includes four (4) mandatory in-class sessions before the trip. Participants present final project in Ghana, West Africa.

Dates: 2015 dates TBA
Instructor/Contact: Robert Hanserd

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Are you a faculty member interested in proposing a new international program? Visit the International & Domestic Study Abroad Programs page in IRIS for proposal forms, guides, and budget workbooks.