Plants, People, and Places is an interdomain course that integrates concepts in the humanities and the natural sciences with an emphasis on critical and integrative thinking as well as social responsibility and ethical reasoning.
This program includes an embedded travel component to Puerto Rico—an opportunity for you to develop an understanding of how the biodiversity, agriculture, and culture of Puerto Rico changed with the discovery and colonization of the Caribbean islands by European explorers.
The experiences and content of this trip will focus on UN Sustainability Goal 15: Life on Land: Promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
In addition, you’ll be challenged to consider these additional Sustainability Goals goals:
- Goal 2, Zero Hunger: Promote sustainable agriculture
- Goal 6, Clean Water and Sanitation: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Goal 12, Responsible Production and Consumption: Ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns
- Goal 16, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development
Travel Itinerary (subject to change)
- Day 1 Depart Philadelphia for San Juan Walking tour of Old San Jan History, food, culture at Placita de Santurce
- Day 2 Arts and culture at Museo de las Américas Tour Castillo San Felipe del Morro (UNESCO site)
- Day 3 Hike the El Yunque National Forest (New Seven Natural Wonders of the World) Swim and sample local foods at Luquillo Beach
- Day 4 See how coffee grows/coffee tasting at Hacienda Munoz Explore Criollo identity at Museo de Historia de Caguas See cigar manufacturing at Tobacco Museum Herminio Torres Grillo
- Day 5 Service learning at San Salvador Neighborhood Ecological Garden See how drinking water is monitored at Planta Filtros de San Lorenzo
- Day 6 See how a colonial family lived at Serrallés Castle Museum Enjoy La Guancha beach and boardwalk
- Day 7 Connect with indigenous Puerto Rican culture at Caguana Ceremonial Indigenous Heritage Center Learn about slavery at Hacienda La Esperanza Nature Reserve
- Day 8 Discover how rum is made from sugar cane at Casa Bacardi Identify tropical plants at University of Puerto Rico Botanical Garden Enjoy a salsa dancing lesson
- Day 9 Return to Philadelphia
International program costs, estimated at $1,500–$2,000 (subject to change), will be applied to your bursar account upon enrollment in the course, and are charged in addition to tuition paid. Grants and scholarship monies may be retroactively available through Penn State. Underwriting for each program is provided by Penn State Abington to maximize opportunities for our students to study abroad. Program costs include round-trip airfare, local ground transportation, all lodging, and some meals.
Non-U.S. citizens may require a visa in addition to their passport. Non-U.S. citizens should consult their embassy for information and may ask the Office of Global Programs for guidance.
About Embedded Courses
Traditionally, “study abroad” meant that students spent a semester in another country and attended classes at an accredited university. Short-term, faculty-led courses with an international travel component are viable alternatives as they offer solid academic international experiences at a reasonable cost with a reduced time commitment.
Students who are enrolled in a course within a faculty-led embedded course are taking an internationally focused class that includes a ten-day travel component. These study abroad programs are anchored on Penn State Abington’s campus with travel occurring over fall or spring break. Course material and lectures prepare students both academically and culturally for the short international excursion to the country of focus in the program.
Penn State Abington is committed to providing meaningful opportunities to study abroad. Exposure to other cultures is a vital step toward becoming a global citizen.
The goal of the courses with an international travel component is to embed the students into the life and culture of the university and the country they visit. Therefore, including international faculty and students at the host institution in academic and cultural activities is a highly regarded and critical component of all of Abington’s faculty-led programs.