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IEX J-Term 2019: Olympic Quest: Examining the Pre- and Post-War Olympiads of Germany, France, and England
Berlin, Germany; Garmisch, Germany; London, United Kingdom; Munich, Germany; Paris, France; Wittenberg, Germany (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: January Interim
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Program Provider:
Gustavus Adolphus College
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Program Term(s):
January Interim
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Program Description:
Program Description:
Join us in 2019 as Olympic Quest investigates the cultural, philosophical, societal, and athletic history of the modern Olympic Games set in the context of pre- and post-World War I and II. Beginning in the homeland of the 1936 Olympics, the so-called "Nazi Games," Olympic Quest will trace the path of the modern Games through Germany, France, and England. Through daily fieldwork and excursions, interaction with guest speakers and guides, reflective journaling practices, course readings and written papers, and instructor and student-led presentations, students will have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the Olympic movement by participating, attending, and experientially reflecting on engagement within the various venues. 

  • Gain an appreciation of the differences that exist between German, French, and English cultures by visiting the countries, meeting the people, and participating in cultural practices
  • Visit, tour, and interact with several former Olympic sites, including 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games, 1936 Garmisch Winter Olympic Games, 1972 Summer Munich Games, 1924 Paris Summer Olympic Games, 2012 Summer London Olympic Games, and the upcoming 2024 Summer Paris Olympic site
  • Participate in Olympic sports, including Alpine and Nordic Skiing, at former Olympic sites and current World Cup venues
  • Gain an appreciation of World War I and II history by interacting with speakers and artifacts at museums, battlefields, and historically preserved sites, including German bunkers, stolen art at the Louvre, and Churchill's War Rooms in London
  • Walk the streets of Wittenberg, Germany as we gain a better understanding of Martin Luther, the Reformation, and our Gustavus heritage
  • Visit modern sporting venues that have played host to various sporting spectacles and rock concerts, including Stade de Paris, Wembley Stadium, and Wimbledon!
  • Enjoy the sites, sounds, and culinary differences of Germany, France, and England
  • Determine the true origins of the modern Olympic Games by visiting both Paris, France and Shropshire, England
  • Course fulfills one of the two IEX credits required for graduation
  • Berlin - site of the 1936 "Nazi Olympics" and epicenter of World War II and the Third Reich.
  • Wittenberg - home of Martin Luther and site of the Reformation.
  • Munich - Site of the 1972 "Terror" Olympic Games.
  • Garmisch - Site of the 1936 Winter Olympics and 2011 Alpine World Cup.  Also the premier ski resort of Germany!
  • Paris - Home of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Cubertin.  Host to the 1900, 1924, and upcoming 2024 Olympic Games.  Paris also played an important role in both World Wars.
  • Normandy - Site of the tragic WWII D-Day Invasion and resting place for thousands of American GIs in the American Cemetery.
  • London - Site of the 1908, 1948, and 2012 Olympic Games.  London played a significant role in WWII and there are many interesting museums to visit to better understand the war.
  • Shropshire - Considered to be the true site of the evolution of the Modern Olympic Games.
Faculty Leader
An avid traveler and Olympic enthusiast, Aaron Banks has successfully designed multiple J-Term programs around the world and led more than 300 Gustavus students on unique and life changing international study abroad courses. In what will be its tenth offering, Olympic Quest investigates the history of the ancient and modern Olympic Games through a cultural, philosophical, societal, and athletic lens, focusing upon the impact that the Games have had on the development of Western civilization.  A popular course, Olympic Quest has traversed the globe, taking participants to Australia, New Zealand, China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, France, England, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. In the spring of 2015, I was honored to receive the the Ruth Mason Award for Excellence in January Off-Campus Teaching.

Academic Calendar
Approximate dates for 2019 are as follows:
Two to three pre-departure meetings: TBA during fall semester 2018.  If you’re studying away during this semester, contact Aaron Banks for arrangements.
On-site program: January 5 to January 28, 2019

Students will stay in hotels throughout the program, generally in double or single rooms.

Program Costs
The program fee will cover round-trip airfare to Europe, transportation within Europe, all lodging, two meals per day, and guide and entrance fees. The final fee will be dependent upon the number of students who apply and are accepted. We estimate the final fee to be between $5,975 and $6,575 per student.

All Gustavus Adolphus College students who meet the general study away requirements are welcome to apply. 

Application Deadline
Students must complete the online application by April 30, 2018. 

Entry visas and passports
Currently, U.S citizens do not need an entry visa for Germany, France, or the UK for stays of 90 days or less. All students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact Bryan Messerly to check in about possible additional visa needs. All program participants must have a passport that is valid through at least July 31, 2019, by the start of Fall 2018 semester.

The information in this online brochure is subject to change. Please contact CICE with questions.

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This program is currently not accepting applications.