For a three-week period between the Winter and Spring Terms each year, Ross students have the opportunity to choose from an array of intensive on- and off-campus courses covering a variety of topics. This year, the focus of Field Academy (formerly Midwinter Term, or M-Term) courses is on issues of sustainability in countries across the map.
In Cambodia, students will learn about the kingdom’s efforts to make its communities just and sustainable through social enterprise. They will also visit historical landmarks, including the temple of Angkor Wat and the infamous Killing Fields, where more than a million people were killed by the Communist Khmer Rouge regime during its rule in the 1970s. Elsewhere in South Asia, students will spend time in Sri Lanka meditating in Buddhist monasteries, tasting new foods, hiking through tea fields, and caring for native wildlife, all while gaining a new awareness of the earth, their bodies, and their minds.
The group visiting Thailand arrived there February 26, and are eager to get started on their examinations of how tourism allows the country to maintain economic viability as well as aids in recovery from a devastating tsunami in 2014. Students in Japan are enjoying their first explorations, starting their adventure in Nippon at Nagoya Castle. They described the weather as a bit rainy, making “this ‘Far Eastern’ country more mysterious than it already was!” Further south in the East China Sea, students arrived in Taiwan at 5am local time and began their day with breakfast at a local restaurant.
Across the continents, groups also arrived in Turkey and Brazil. In Istanbul, students were excited to find that their hotel is located near the Blue Mosque and surrounded by lots of stores and markets. In Brazil, RSTA players kicked off their studies with Gustavo Kuerten, the coach of the former number-one player on the Association of Tennis Professionals tour.
In the Caribbean, students are exploring the ecosystems, coral reefs, and local communities of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, where the current temperature is a balmy 82 degrees! Back in the states, students traveled to Mississippi to learn about the history of Moss Point and Turkey Creek, communities originally settled by emancipated slaves in 1866. They will also help residents with construction projects to rebuild after modern events including Hurricane Katrina. In Denali, a group touring the West Coast from Alaska to Mexico is currently “mushing” through the tundra with dog-sled teams traveling fast enough “for all of the adrenaline junkies on the trip.”
Next week, Field Academy courses for grades 7 and 8 will begin in Costa Rica and on the Eastern seaboard, traveling through Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. On-campus courses will explore cooking, arts and culture, music, performance, wellness, and technology and innovation.
Keep up-to-date on the adventures by following Field Academy blogs!