Three weeks. Three credits. Immeasurable experiences.
Since 2011, the history and classics department has taken dozens of students on journeys that have begun in a classroom and ended in Germany, Poland, Hungary, England, Ireland, or Japan. The Maymester course combines a week of intense study at PC on a specific issue and region with up to two weeks of international travel to those countries and sites. The course begins immediately following the end of the spring semester so that students will be able to return home in time for summer jobs, internships, and other activities. This course is approved for academic credit by the College and is the coordinated effort of the Department of History and Classics, the Center for International Studies, the School of Continuing Education, and a College-approved tour company.
An informational session about the following spring’s Maymester is offered to students every fall. The session also provides information on deposit deadlines and procedures for registration. We urge all students to consider enrolling in at least one Maymester course during their undergraduate years. In a world that is becoming increasingly global and diverse, the exposure to other cultures through a Maymester course is invaluable.
Highlights of Maymester Courses
Maymester 2017: Japan and the U.S. from 1853 to the Present
Building on two successful Japan Maymester trips (2013 and 2015), the 2017 Japan Maymester will explore the historical relationship between Japan and the U.S., with a particular focus on visual sources. This year’s Maymester once again features a strong fine arts component with an emphasis on visual literacy and digital storytelling, courtesy of Prof. Eric Sung of The Department of Art and Art History.
Maymester 2016: Spain and Portugal: History and Myth of the Road to Santiago de Compostela
This Maymester, led by Dr. Karen Holland and Fr. David Orique, O.P., traveled the same roads and visited the same sites that millions of pilgrims have journeyed for centuries. Major stops included Santiago Compostela, Madrid, and Salamanca, as well as Lisbon, Porto, and Coimbra.
Maymester 2015: Japan and the U.S. from 1853 to the Present
Building on the incredibly successful 2013 Maymester in Japan (see below), this course added a new twist: a fine arts component thanks to the addition of visual literacy and digital storytelling, a component added by Dr. Eric Sung of The Department of Art and Art History.
Maymester 2014: The Rise of the Polis and the Birth of Classical Greece
The Rise of the Polis and the Birth of Classical Greece combined academic study and travel to Greece. The course surveyed ancient Greek history and showcased the archaeology, architecture, and religion of Western Civilization’s earliest foundations. The travel portion of the course included on-site lectures by archaeologists, art historians, and historians working on the sites.
Maymester 2013: The U. S. and Japan in the Modern Era
The study portion of this major economic power provided the background for travel to this “Land of the Rising Sun.” Its cultural setting dating back to 30,000 B.C. offered students an extraordinary and unforgettable experience of Japanese culture and history.
Maymester 2012: Roman Britain and Early Christian Ireland: A Clash of Cultures
A week of intense study was followed by 12 days of travel to Fishbourne Palace, Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, Newgrange, Glendalough, and Skellig Michael in such exciting locations as Chichester, Newcastle, Dublin, and Kilkenny.
Maymester 2011: Cold War Flashpoints
Five days of classroom study about the Cold War era in Eastern Europe were followed by two weeks of memorable travel in Berlin, Gdansk, Warsaw, and Budapest.