EU Perspectives is a seminar + study tour focused on undergraduate research on Europe, the European Union, and France. Designed with UC's strategic partnership with the Universities of Bordeaux and Bordeaux-Montaigne in mind, the course objectives emphasize constructive research collaboration here at UC and on location in Bordeaux.
Designing your research project:
Students will design and conduct research on a topic of their choice combining:
(a) specialty interests (minor or major),
(b) Europe and European Union data,
(c) opportunities and resources in Bordeaux (France) during a 2-week faculty-led study abroad program.
As you begin to identify your research topic, make a list of two or three potentially interesting and promising topics about which you know something but would like to know much more. One of your goals would be to discover how this topic/issue of interest is handled by the EU (institutionally) and by two different European countries.
Develop your data collecting skills by searching for relevant EU resources and scholarly articles. Use and develop your critical analysis capabilities to select the questions you need to examine further, organize and then report on your findings. On location in Bordeaux you will be better able to find additional information and investigate how real people in real life handle the topic. In that sense, we will move from the top down institutional approach to more practical, bottom-up perspectives.
To assist with research design and implementation, the instructor will hold preliminary information seminars, including seminars given by guest speakers in European Studies (January-March) and progress report exercises that will include presentations to our U of Bordeaux counterparts (early March). Plans are made for you to present your research results in a semi-formal venue at UC by mid-April. On location in Bordeaux, we will interact with EU experts (seminars and Q&A sessions), visit venues of interest to our group’s prominent research questions, and meet with people who take part in handling the topics, one way or the other.
While many courses focus on EU governance, supra-national structures, and broad international issues, this program looks at daily life: What implications do EU agencies, policies, and concerns have on regional economy, politics, education? What is like to live, work, own a business, study, or raise a family in the EU? How does the EU affect infrastructure projects, urban design, and cultural heritage? The May Study Tour will focus on the inner workings of Europe from the vantage point of the Bordeaux region. We explore the business and human sides of the achievements and challenges in a Southwestern sub-region of the European Union.
Seminars, targeted company and cultural visits in and around Bordeaux, and student-centered events will help us contextualize and investigate issues such as European integration, migration and euro-skepticism.
The EU’s motto is one of it's main goals: “Unity in diversity.” Cultural immersion is intrinsic to this course offering. There will be time for you to work on your research project and explore Bordeaux and the Atlantic coast.
All lectures, visits, and course work, will be in English. However, familiarity with basic French greetings and common phrases will add charm to your stay.
This program is a unique opportunity to learn about and experience what it is like to work and live in the EU today. Whether you are in business, engineering, sciences, urban planning, or social sciences and the humanities, it will help you gain confidence, enhance your education and your resume.
The research component drives the course and study tour's design. To help you identify, define, frame, and successfully conduct your research on a topic of your choice, draft a preliminary description of your project and contact Professor Vialet to discuss it as early as possible, preferably in Fall 2015 (firstname.lastname@example.org).