Registration remains open for Virginia Tech students interested in taking courses during winter session 2015.

Winter session at Virginia Tech will run Dec. 27, 2014, through Jan. 17, 2015. In addition to on-campus, virtual (100 percent online) and blended (a combination of online and on-campus) course options, students may also enroll in winter experience courses which gives participants the opportunity to travel domestically or internationally while taking winter session courses.

“Faculty and students see the value of the world being their classroom and connecting theoretical concepts with real experiences,” said Michael Herndon, director of university summer and winter sessions.

Last year, approximately 1,100 students enrolled in winter session. 

According to Herndon, six winter experience programs were offered, one of which was domestic. Winter experience offerings have since tripled -- 18 programs are now offered through a variety of departments that span many regions of the world.

Six course involve domestic travel to locations including New York, Orlando, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. Twelve courses involve international locations, including the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, New Zealand, and Thailand.

The following programs have mid-October application deadlines for interested students:

  • UAP 5954: Impact Assessment Field School: Environment, Health and Community: Dominican Republic: Students enrolled in this course, offered through the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, will travel to the Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Led by Jocelyn Widmer, an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, participants will engage with local communities to assess the environment and health of resource-challenged areas. Interested students can apply online.
  • BIT 3954: Global Business in Australia: The Pamplin College of Business is offering a 21-day trip to Australia led by Lance Matheson, associate professor of business information technology. Students will learn about a variety of businesses in Cairns and Sydney, as well as visiting cultural and natural sites, snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and surfing at Bondi Beach. The application is available online.
  • COMM 4984: PR Goes to the Movies: The Practitioner and Pop Culture, Orlando: The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences offers this course in Orlando led by Kelly McBride, assistant professor of communication. This course will focus on the role of public relations in film. Students will get the chance to visit University Studios Florida and discuss filmmaking with employees there, as well as visiting other Orlando attractions. Application information can be found online.
  • BC 4974: Construction and Culture through Spain and Portugal: The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is offering a 16-day trip led by Walid Thabet, professor of building construction, through various cities in Spain and Portugal. Teams of students will locate historical and modern sites that interest them prior to the trip, and they’ll explore those places in detail upon their arrival. In this way, students can explore the cultural, technical and social features of sites across the Iberian Peninsula. Application information can be found online. 
  • GEOG 3954: Sustainability in New Zealand: This program, organized through the College of Natural Resources and Environment, involves a three-week trip to New Zealand’s South Island. Students will learn about environmental conservation in New Zealand, as well as its natural and social history. While learning about sustainable development, students will spend time in the field exploring everything from the rainforests to the glaciers of New Zealand. Applications can be found online.

Visit the Virginia Tech winter session website for more information on winter session or for a full listing of 2015 winter experience courses.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Rebecca Robertson of Richmond, Virginia, a junior majoring in public relations in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.