Experience More Logo with W flag

Wartburg’s one-month May Term is an ideal time for off-campus travel and study. About one in every four students will travel abroad each May Term. Faculty members accompany students on a variety of courses. This page includes all study away courses (abroad and domestic). On-campus May Term courses are listed throughout the academic catalog. Courses listed below do require additional fees for participants. Please contact the faculty member about pricing of the course.


NOTE: Details of all courses are subject to change.

Italy - Florence

ART 375 Drawing and Painting in Italy
Studio production teamed with art historical and cultural observations.  Museum visits, personal observations and studio art projects, immersion in Italian culture.  Interconnected: Humanities/Fine Arts. Diversity. Fee.
Prerequisites:  ART 111, GM 275


BI 208 Island Ecology (Bahamas)
Field biology course conducted at the Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas including the biology and ecology of the coral reefs and hyper-saline lakes. Includes significant fieldwork as a part of research projects. This course meets the ecosystem requirement of the biology major. Fee.
Prerequisites: BI 152
Contact: Dr. Stephanie Toering Peters


Amazon Rain Forest
BI 214 Amazonian Ecology and Culture II  
Ecology and culture of the Amazon. Structure of ecosystems, flora and fauna interrelationships, issues of resource management, and indigenous culture. Includes personal disciplinary research, data collection, and research presentations. Laboratory work required. P/D/F only. Diversity. Fee.
Prerequisite(s): GM 214 and any BI course with a C or higher.
Contact: Dr. Michael Bechtel
Greece - Athens

EN 232 Myth and the Ancient World
Examines the intersections between ancient myth, culture, and landscape through travel and visits to sites in Greece. Interconnected: Humanities/Fine Arts. Diversity. Fee.
Prerequisite: GM 132
Contact:  Dr. Joyce Boss


EN 261 British Isles: Literary Locations
On-site study of literature and of places in England, Scotland, Wales, and/or Ireland with historical, cultural, and especially literary significance.  Interconnected: Humanities/Fine Arts. Diversity. Fee.
Prerequisite: GM 261
Contact: Dr. Rachel Clark

Germany - Bonn

GER 260 / 261 German Culture & Intensive Conversation
A multidisciplinary exploration on site of the past and present life-ways of the German people. Students visit artistic, religious, economic, educational, and scientific centers in various regions of Germany and experience Germany in the context of the European Union. GER 260 is a four-week course taken simultaneously with GER 261. GER 261 involves the development of German linguistic skills under the direction of native German teachers. No previous course work of knowledge of German is required. Fee.
Prerequisites: Department approval; pre-departure orientation required
Contact: Dr. Ethan Blass

Germany - Eisenach

GM 105 Eisenach Immersion
Open to any major.  Students doing May Term internships in Eisenach register for the course and for a departmental internship.  Internship sites have included the Wartburg Castle, Wartburg Radio, the Bach museum, the Eisenach Jazz Archive, St. George Church, the tourism bureau, and other local businesses.  Groups excursions to other places of interest. Fee.
Prerequisite: At least one semester of college German and junior/senior status
Contact: Dr. Brian Pfaltzgraff


Castle Singers Kammerstreicher 2018-19

GM 223 Tour with the Arts 
Structure and form in the arts, opera, concerts, drama, architecture, visual arts in international centers. Attendance at concerts, visits to museums and galleries, demonstrations and discussion with practicing artists. Required readings, papers. Must be a member of this auditioned music ensemble both fall and winter to participate. Fee.
Prerequisites: Member of Castle Singers, Kammerstreicher, Wartburg Choir, or Wind Ensemble
Contacts: Dr. Nicki ToliverDr. Rebecca NederhiserDr. Lee Nelson, Dr. Lia Snead


Japan Photo

GM 232 Japan: Tradition and Culture in the 21st Century
Cultural immersion and exploration of important sites in Japan. Examination of Japanese history, society, religion, philosophy, arts. Interconnected: Humanities/Fine Arts. Diversity. Fee.
Prerequisite: GM 222
Contact: Dr. Kunihiko Terasawa



GM 359/ID 359 Tanzania: Culture and Current Issues
Experience Tanzanian culture with a special focus on the global AIDS crisis. Service-learning opportunities coordinated by church agencies with Maasai villagers. Be prepared for safaris and cultural encounters. Fee.
Prerequisites: GM 359 and pre-departure orientation required
Contact: Dr. Shawn Ellerbroek


ID 308 Middle East Life and Culture
Christianity flourished in Asia Minor (the western coast of modern-day Turkey) and Greece in the years following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This course will draw on archaeological ruins, ancient texts, and the social, cultural, political, and religious realities of the ancient Mediterranean world to better understand how and why Christianity became the dominate religion in the Roman Empire, and explore how present-day religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) have, and continue, to co-exist in these countries. Fee.
Prerequisites: GM 307  
Contact: Dr. Justin Schedtler

Netherlands Aerial Photo

ID 316 People, Planet and Profit. (The Netherlands, Germany) 
Explore the impact of business on society and the environment and the ways in which companies have adapted their business practices, in accordance with the three pillars of sustainability – economic, societal, and environmental. Fee.
Contact: Dr. Amy Pilcher


Spanish Mountains

ID 322 The Anthropology of the Pilgrimage (Spain)
A historical, anthropological, cultural, and behavioral study of the Medieval pilgrimage route through southern France and northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Extensive travel along the route, including several days of backpacking in the Spanish Sierras. Knowledge of French and Spanish is helpful but not necessary. Winter term pre-course. Interview with instructor. Physical component. Fee.
Prerequisites: None 

British Isles

ID 323 Historical Roots of Math and Physics (Germany, British Isles)
Alternates every two years between going to  Germany and the  British Isles. Course focuses on the development of science in the particular country as it relates to the corresponding historical and cultural events at the time. Specific focus on the development of science due to historical influences, the development of colleges and universities, and the impact of World War II. Fee.
Prerequisites: Pre-departure orientation required
ContactDr. Mariah Birgen (British Isles), Dr. Brian Birgen (Germany)


ID 379 History and Culture of Cuba
A survey of the art, music, economics, education, politics, architecture, and history of Cuba taught both on-campus and in Cuba. Spanish language skills are not required. Diversity. Fee. | Prerequisite: Third- or fourth-year standing Contact: Dr. Shawn Ellerbroek


Germany City

PSY 221 01 History of Psychology: A European Tour 
A European Tour-depth study of the historical sites (e.g., the first psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany) and figures (e.g., Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget) within psychology. Possible destinations include German, Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland. Diversity. Fee.
Prerequisites: PSY 101, third- or fourth-year standing and instructor approval.
Contact: Dr. Andrea Eslick

Germany - Eisenach

RE 277 Reformation Then and Now
Walk in the footsteps of Martin Luther and experience historical sites related to the Reformation throughout Germany, as well as modern history leading up to and following the fall of the Berlin wall and German reunification. This on-site study of the historical Lutheran Reformation connects you to the contemporary role of the church in the “new reformation” in Europe. Fee.
Prerequisite: GM 277
Contact: Dr. Caryn Riswold



SO 385 01 Global Communities (Guatemala or Rwanda)
Examination of communities of place and interest in an international context. Two to three weeks of travel to locations outside the United States. Opportunities for interaction with community representatives and service in agencies. Diversity. Fee.
Prerequisite: SO 101
Dr. Brian McQueen


Costa Rica

SP 260 & 261 Hispanic Culture & Intensive Conversation (Costa Rica)
These two May Term courses are taken simultaneously at a Latin-American site. The multidisciplinary Hispanic Culture course involves visiting important cultural locations. The Intensive Conversation course gives students 20 hours per week of guided conversation with native-language instructors. Students live with Costa-Rican host families. Classes are conducted in Spanish. Diversity. Fee.
Prerequisite: SP 206 or departmental approval. Pre-departure orientation required.
Contact: Dr. Marta Ramírez Martínez


Oviedo, Spain

SP 318 Contemporary Spain (Oviedo, Spain)
Explore Spanish culture and society in the 20th and 21st centuries through linguistic, social, literary, and political manifestations. Topics may include gender, race, class, migration, linguistic diversity, war, and Spain’s role in the European Union. Fee.
Prerequisites: Two 300-level Spanish courses or instructor permission
ContactsDr. Zak Montgomery


  • This policy is relevant for May Term travel courses, music ensemble tours/performances,Wartburg West, Des Moines Urban Studies, student-led service trips, student conference participation, internships, and similar college-sponsored domestic activities.
  • Domestic athletic travel will follow guidelines established by external athletic governing bodies.
  • Requirements are subject to change based on evolving guidance from national, state, and local resources, as well as campus policies.

Vaccination Policy
For the 2023-24 academic year the college strongly encourages but does not require participants in college-sponsored domestic and international travel to be up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines before they travel, per CDC guidance.

Participants will be exempt from the college’s on-campus COVID-19 isolation requirement while traveling but will need to follow host organization and/or host country COVID-19 related guidelines, which may differ from the college’s travel policy.

Domestic Travel Specifics
Domestic travel leaders will monitor host organization/institutions for such differences and update participants as needed.

Domestic participants will need to rely on their personal medical insurance to cover any health care expenses during travel. If an uninsured student participant is interested in purchasing medical insurance they may contact Stephanie Newsom, Director of Counseling Services and Medical Liaison at for more information.

forest pacific

BI 295 Forests of the Pacific Northwest
Field biology course in Oregon to experience the unique and important ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Explore a variety of ecosystems and learn to differentiate between the components and processes of each. Includes travel to experimental forests to understand long-term ecological studies and to working forests to understand the role of the forest products industry in the economy and in environmental debates. 
Prerequisite: BI 152


ED 212 – Human Relations (Denver, Colorado)
Study of subgroups in our society and biases such as sexism, racism, prejudice, as well as discrimination in interpersonal relations and instructional materials. Translation of knowledge into attitudes of respect for human diversity and rights of individuals. Skills to relate effectively to individuals and subgroups and methods of teaching such skills to pupils.
Prerequisite: Pre-departure orientation required.
Contact: Jennifer Dickey

Statue of Liberty

ED 212 – Human Relations (New York City)
Study of subgroups in our society and biases such as sexism, racism, prejudice, as well as discrimination in interpersonal relations and instructional materials. Translation of knowledge into attitudes of respect for human diversity and rights of individuals. Skills to relate effectively to individuals and subgroups and methods of teaching such skills to pupils.
Prerequisite: Pre-departure orientation required.
Contact: TBD


GM 270 – Exploration and Service Learning in Alaska
Cultural immersion and service learning with native Alaskans and persons with disabilities. Participants are headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, work with native Alaskans, explore the rich culture and natural environment of Alaska. P/D/F/ only.
Prerequisite: Instructor approval
Contact: TBD


PBH 255 Applied Public Health Practice (Denver, Colo.)
Why are some people so much healthier than others? Experience the unequal distribution of health and disease in a real-world setting. Learn how human health and well-being are shaped by biology, environment, behavior, and society. Gain hands-on experience while working with organizations that address Public Health issues. Course will provide an overview of the most important Public Health challenges facing the world today.
Prerequisite: PBH 101
Contact: TBD

Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

PS 200 U.S. Foreign Policy (Washington, D.C.) 
Consider patterns of U.S. interactions with other state and non-state actors, how these have changed over time, who influences them, and their likely futures.  Course taught on-campus and in Washington D.C. Contact: Dr. Andrew Szarejko



RE 210 Theology and Ethics of Martin Luther King (Atlanta) 
An academic and experiential study of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, ministry, and writings. Course will include eight days of travel to sties of the civil rights movement. Students will consider King’s contemporary legacy.
Contact: TBD


SP 262/263 Hispanic Culture/Intensive Conversation in the United States (Denver, Colo.)
A multidisciplinary study of Hispanic culture in the Unites States through public art, museums, cultural sites and other experiential activities (SP 262) and development of linguistic skills in an immersion environment (SP 263). 
Prerequisite: SP 206 or instructor permission/Corequisite: SP 263
Contact: Amanda Rector