BCLA Global Immersion Courses

BCLA Global Immersion Courses

Girl in front of the Parthenon in Greece

BCLA Global Immersion Courses are on-campus classes, which each include a week-long abroad trip. With a Global Immersion Course, you can get out of the classroom to study a topic in depth at the source with faculty experts. Most classes are open to all students, many fulfill at least one core requirement, and need-based financial assistance is available to help you go. If you want an abroad experience but cannot commit to a full semester program, or you want an international perspective on your major course of study, a BCLA Global Immersion Course is a great way to grow your global imagination.


  • Courses are 4 units, like standard BCLA courses. 
  • Most course trips take place over spring break. 
  • A $2,120 - $3,655 lab fee covers airfare, lodging and food for the trip. Financial assistance is available, and an application to apply for scholarships will be available in November. Questions regarding financial aid can be directed to Jasmine.Hamm@lmu.edu.


  • Register through PROWL as you would for a typical course.
  • Reach out to the professor directly to ask questions about the course content or trip details.


  • AFAM 3998/PSYC 3019 | African and Black Psychology

    Immersion to: Ghana (Accra, Cape Coast, and Kumasi)
    Trip Dates: May 11 - 22, 2020
    Course Meeting Times: W 4:20 - 7:20 PM
    Professors: Cheryl Grills and Deanna Cooke
    Prerequisites: An individual meeting with the professors is required for registration. Please sign up for a timeslot here.
    Core: N/A
    Flags: Engaged Learning
    Lab Fee: $3,655

    Trip Description: The trip begins with a 1-day conference with faculty and students at the University of Ghana at Legon (in greater Accra) to apply African psychology and worldview to the Ghanaian context and engage in dialog about it with peers and faculty. We next spend 2 days in Kumasi where the course collaborates with and resides at the Black and White Powers Shrine. At the shrine students take classes in African spirituality and healing from master healer Nana Abas, participate with shrine followers in Sunday traditional service, and have the opportunity to receive spiritual readings from Nana Abas. Students also visit the palace of the Asante King learn about the history and culture of the mighty Asante Kingdom. Next, we travel to the slave dungeons at Cape Coast and Elmina, stopping at Assin Manso (Slave River). Students learn about the history and engage in meditations that allow all students to envision this experience and how centuries of dehumanization influences one’s perceptions of psychology, psychological functioning and liberation.

    Course Description: This course will examine psychology from an Africentric perspective. According to the Association of Black Psychologists, African centered psychology (Africentric psychology) is a dynamic manifestation of unifying African principles, values and traditions. It is a self-conscious centering of psychological analyses and applications in African reality, culture and epistemology. We also explore Black psychology, that like African Psychology, is committed to the resolution of personal, communal, and social problems and the promotion of optimal functioning. As a survey course we will review basic concepts in African psychology and Black psychology and findings to date on a sample of the topics they address.

    Informational Presentations: Three informational presentations will be held for students to learn and ask questions about the course and immersion in Ghana.

    • Friday, Oct. 18 | 4 - 5:30 p.m., Uhall 4600 (BCLA Dean's Office)
    • Monday, Oct. 21 | 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., Malone 210 (EIS Conference Room)
    • Wednesday, Oct. 23 | 4 - 6 p.m., Uhall 4600 (BCLA Dean's Office)

    Questions? Email: Deanna.Cooke@lmu.edu 

  • ASPA/POLS 3998 | International Law and Maritime Disputes in East Asia

    Immersion to: China (Beijing and Haikou)
    Trip Dates: March 7 - 15, 2020
    Course Meeting Times: MW 2:20 - 3:50 PM
    Professors: Gene Park and David Glazier
    Prerequisites: N/A
    Core: N/A
    Flags: Engaged Learning
    Lab Fee: $2,725

    Trip Description: As part of this course students will be required to travel with the class to Beijing. As part of our trip, we will visit policy experts in Beijing first and then travel to Hainan Island, an island in the South China Sea that is home to the National Institute for South China Sea Studies (NISCS). We will visit the NISCS, which is the premier Chinese policy institution on maritime issues.The trip will help students understand the Chinese view on key issues such as: maritime security, land reclamation, international law, Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS), the environment, and many other issues.Students will also have the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and historythrough visits to museums, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and more.

    Course Description: The rationale for this course is to provide an interdisciplinary approach to understanding a pressing real-world problem: the potentially explosive issue of maritime territorial disputes in East Asia. The East Asian region is replete with territorial conflicts. As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has grown more powerful, it has been increasingly assertive in its territorial claims, including its declaration of its now infamous “nine dash line” that makes ambitious territorial claims covering about 80% of the entire South China Sea. These claims overlap with the territorial claims of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The issue of territorial disputes straddles multiple fields. International law covers important international agreements that govern territory, such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), and codifies processes for resolving disputes. The issue of territorial disputes is also a central topic in international relations, as a source of conflict, and in some cases war. For this course, we would like to provide students a chance to explore these issues from both perspectives.

  • CHIN 4208 | Selected Topics of Contemporary Chinese Society

    Immersion to: China (Shanghai, Suzhou, and Nanjing)
    Trip Dates: April 4 - 12, 2020
    Course Meeting Times: MW 2:20 - 3:50 PM
    Professor: Xiaojing Sun
    Prerequisites: CHIN 3606 or Instructor Consent
    Core: Interdisciplinary Connections
    Flags: Engaged Learning
    Lab Fee: $2,150

    Trip Description: This immersion trip to China is designed to offer students opportunities to use the language they learn, as well as provide them with access into cultural aspects of the language, and further foster their intercultural communication competency. Students will visit Shanghai, Suzhou, and Nanjing during the Easter Break (April 4-12) of 2020. Traditionally known as Jiangnan (South of the Yangzi River) region, this area has long been regarded as one of the most prosperous regions in China due to its wealth in natural resources. In Shanghai, an international metropolis and global financial hub, students will visit Shanghai Museum, French Concession, Lujiazui Central Business District, as well as explore Shanghai Old City and take a cruise on Huangpu river. Suzhou is an ancient city with over 2,500 years of history. Students will get a chance to explore the wonderful ancient water towns, and visit some of the most exquisite classical gardens, which are praised for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. Nanjing, the capital of six dynasties in ancient Chinese history, also has a brilliant cultural heritage. Students will visit various historical and cultural sites in Nanjing, such as the city wall of Ming Dynasty, Porcelain Tower, Presidential Palace, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum, Confucius Temple, Xuanwu Lake, etc. This trip will help students develop the ability to use the language effectively and appropriately in a meaningful context. Students will also be asked to complete a post-trip project on their travel experience after coming back from the trip.

    Course Description: This course intends to help students develop knowledge and perspectives about contemporary Chinese society. Selected topics cover diverse and culturally relevant issues such as Chinese festivals, major changes of Chinese society, traveling in China, health issues and gender equality in China, etc. Students will be exposed to different aspects of Chinese culture and their relationship with the Chinese language in the process of China’s social and cultural transformation. These issues are presented in videos with natural speech and in written texts along with useful vocabulary, speech patterns and idiosyncratic language usage. In dealing with both oral and written discourses, students are encouraged to critically reflect and interpret meanings created within Chinese socio-cultural, historical, and political contexts. Students are also encouraged to construct meanings for what they hear, read, and view from their perspectives. With socio-cultural, historical, and political dimensions added to the development of literacy skills, students will be able to increasingly understand people in the target culture and themselves, and understand the power of language and ultimately enhance their translingual and transcultural competence.

  • ENGL 3998 | Cultivating a Planetary Perspective

    Immersion to: Scotland (Dumfries and Edinburgh)
    Trip Dates: April 3 - 11, 2020
    Course Meeting Times: T 4:20 - 7:20 PM
    Professor: Paul Harris
    Prerequisites: N/A
    Core: Interdisciplinary Connections
    Flags: Writing and Engaged Learning
    Lab Fee: $2,775

    Trip Description: The trip will begin with a visit to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, where we will focus on its geologic history of Scotland displays, including seminal works by land artist Andy Goldsworthy. We will visit the National Gallery of Modern Art, where we will meet artist Katie Paterson at a major exhibition of her work. We will visit Jupiter Artland (near Edinburgh), a large outside museum which features landforms by Charles Jencks that express contemporary evolutionary concepts, as well as works by Andy Goldsworthy, Ian Hamilton Finlay, and other prominent land artists. We will then spend three nights in Dumfries, and visit Jencks’s most spectacular gardens, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation and The Multiverse. We will hike in the landscape to discover earthworks by Andy Goldsworthy, and visit the nearby ancient Twelve Apostles stone circle, to see a tradition from which Jencks’s Multiverse emerges.

    Course Description: This course engages materials and experiences designed to cultivate a planetary perspective, an ecological awareness of the human species’ present situation, as well as its history and prospective futures. The course centers on the notion of “cultivating” both as a practice of gardening, cultivating the earth, and a practice of personal development, cultivating one’s mind and spirit to evolve a planetary ethical, ecological perspective. The class begins by studying the Anthropocene through literature and critical texts, in order to understand humanity as a geologic species that is affecting the earth system as a whole. We will then turn to cultural traditions that offer planetary perspectives: we will read classical Buddhist and Daoist philosophical texts, and visit Japanese and Chinese gardens that express these bodies of thought. Finally, we will study contemporary artists and landscape designers who create planetary perspectives by integrating cosmology and ecology in their work, including Katie Paterson, Andy Goldsworthy, and Charles Jencks.

  • FNLT 4200/GRMN 3998/HMNT 4998 | Berlin Stories: History, Memory, Literature

    Immersion to: Germany (Berlin)
    Trip Dates: March 7 - 15, 2020
    Course Meeting Times: MWF 12:40 - 1:40 PM
    Professor: Pauline Ebert
    Prerequisites: N/A
    Core: N/A
    Flags: Engaged Learning, IR Upper Division Elective
    Lab Fee: $2,150

    Trip Description: During Spring Break, students will spend one week in Berlin, Germany. The purpose is to explore the diversity and richness of Berlin today while uncovering the range of cultural and historical influences that have shaped the city over time. Visits to neighborhoods, museums, and historical landmarks throughout the city, as well as guided tours and lectures by local artists will support the readings and class discussions.

    Course Description: The course explores representations of the city of Berlin and how it remembers its past as a divided city during the Cold War. In the beginning, students will examine how individuals and collective entities remember the past and what role cultural artifacts play in the creation of memory. Then, in order to explore how people remember and understand the city of Berlin and the events that have happened in this city, we will explore past and present Berlin through its culture, society, history, literature, urban sites, and cultural events. This longer second part of the course is divided chronologically into three sections and will be dedicated to a different era in the city's recent history: 1) The Fall of Berlin in 1945: Berlin as an Occupied City. 2) Two Cities in One: The Divided Berlin and the Cold War. 3) Two Cities Become One: the New Berlin.

  • MDGK 3998 | Modern Greek Playwrights: Influences and Performance

    Immersion to: Greece (Athens)
    Trip Dates: March 7 - 15, 2020
    Course Meeting Times: TR 2:40 - 4:10 PM
    Professor: Christina Bogdanou
    Prerequisites: N/A
    Core: Creative Experience
    Flags: Oral Skills and Writing
    Lab Fee: $2,120

    Trip Description: During this week-long visit, students will get acquainted with theatrical Athens, past and present. Among the ancient monuments and ruins of ancient theaters, they will trace the city’s rich theatrical history as the birthplace of western drama. They will then sneak inside some imposing 19th c. theatrical buildings to discover the city’s rebirth as one of the most vibrant modern theatrical scenes in Europe. Through a series of visits, walks, lectures, backstage tours and meetings with artists, they will experience and discuss matters like creating theatre then and now, theatre-making in times of political and economic crisis, popular forms of theatre and everyday life as source of inspiration.

    Course Description: One of the oldest artistic forms of expression about social, political, ontological and ethical questions, classical Greek theater has been a major force of influence to modern Greek playwrights and actors. This multidisciplinary course will study such sources of influence and how they have morphed into modern Greek theater and performance, at times conforming, at others rebelling and innovating. Students will engage in both critical and creative writing and will workshop their work in a collaborative environment, culminating with an oral presentation reflecting on their experience as both artist/critic and audience.