Liberal Arts In Focus

Liberal Arts In Focus courses, offered for three weeks each August and May, help students to explore a variety of topics in a total immersion experience that deepens their academic study and creative work, strengthens their foundation for graduate and professional study, and provides valuable experience for work in every sector of the economy.

Liberal Arts In Focus Courses | 2018 – 2019

person riding a bike near a yellow, German building
Bonn-Berlin: Memory, Memorials, Museums (two credits)

Lorna J. Sopcak

On walking tours, students explore and examine the monuments, museums, and memorial sites studied during the spring semester course. Students will: experience firsthand the artistic, political, and historical climates of two distinctly different cultural centers of Europe; practice critical and comparative thinking skills; integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines; continue and expand research on a chosen topic; keep a detailed journal and collect documentation through photographs, drawings or other visual materials; compile a portfolio including a 5-6 page reflective essay integrating course readings and sites visited; demonstrate their ability to perceive, interpret, contrast, and evaluate the “new” and “different”. The study trip offers students of German an intense immersion experience in contemporary German and Austrian culture and language. In addition to the content learning goals, the course is designed to improve German students’ spoken fluency, comprehension, and communicative strategies, as they assist classmates with no knowledge of German. Listed as German 310.01.

Topics: Old Italy, New Italy (three credits)

Topics: Old Italy, New Italy (three credits)
Sarah Mahler Kraaz, Diane Mockridge

This May Liberal Arts In Focus course provides an intensive overview of Italian history, politics, culture and language. Students will spend the first week of the course on Ripon’s campus where they will have lectures, discussions, film screenings, basic language instruction and a special Wisconsin-Italian field trip. Students will then spend two weeks in a villa just outside of Rome, Italy in Due Santi, a historic district south of the city. The class will be team-taught with Prof. Mockridge focusing on “old Italy” (ancient Rome, medieval Italy and the Renaissance) and Pres. Messitte concentrating on “new” Italy (from the Risorgimento through the present). In addition to two tests and two papers, students will be expected to keep a daily journal while in Italy. Listed as Classical Studies 200.01/History 200.01/Politics and Government 200.01.


three girls walking with backpacks onPeace Studies in Jamaica (two credits)
Joe Hatcher

This class consists of twelve days spent in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica in the town of Hagley Gap and Penlyne. We will apply the concepts learned in the one-credit class directly as we work with children in the schools of the area and provide support for community improvement. We will live with families and experience life in the Blue Mountain area under the auspices of the Blue Mountain Project. Listed as Interdisciplinary Studies 300.01.

Plaza de España
In Focus Spain: Seville (three credits)

Timothy Reed

An 18-day intensive study abroad experience at the Center for Cross-Cultural Study in Seville, Spain. Students are offered an excellent opportunity to improve their language skills and experience the culture and beauty of this charming and historic city. Students live with host families, take cultural excursions, and attend classes Monday through Friday for a total of 45 contact hours. Listed as Spanish 300.01.

two colorful masks next to eachother on a green background
Sound and Sight: Exploring Mexico City (two credits)

John Hughes, Timothy Reed, Rafael Salas

Explore the music, art, history and language of one of the largest, most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Take guided tours of historical and contemporary art museums and archaeological sites. Attend musical events, and explore diverse neighborhoods throughout the city. Participants prepare Mexican choral pieces to perform in the city or a visual art program. Includes one week of on-campus instruction on Mexican history, language, culture, choral rehearsals or visual journaling. No prior experience in art or music required.

small, gray bird sitting on top of a human hand
Intensive Field Studies: Field Ornithology

Memuna Khan

Field ornithology is the study of birds (anatomy, physiology, behavior and populations), including the techniques of studying birds (censusing, capturing, marking, specimen preparation, behavioral observation). The course will include one week on the Ripon College campus followed by two weeks at Coe College Wilderness Field Station near Ely, Minnesota. The week at Ripon will include monitoring the Ripon Bluebird Trail, day trips, specimen preparation and practice of bird identification by sight and sound. At the field station, various habitats will be visited by foot and canoe and their avian communities analyzed. We will examine the issues surrounding Neotropical migratory birds and their conservation. A group research project, two field exams, an anatomy practical and a written final exam will be the basis of grading for the course. Class size is limited to 16. Listed as Biology 450.01.

students crossing a bridge in the jungle
Biodiversity in Costa Rica

Memuna Khan

Students travel throughout Costa Rica to examine the country’s rich biological diversity and examine the different approaches to conservation. Participants implement a field study to compare biodiversity and communities across the ecosystem types of lowland rainforest and cloud forest.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition charged per credit; tuition is sometimes waived for some Liberal Arts In Focus courses. Program fees may include travel, housing, food, entrance fees, etc. See course instructor for information.

Ripon College campus housing will be available for In Focus students while in Ripon. The room rate is $50 per week or any part of a week.

Consult the Office of Financial Aid regarding financial assistance.

Physical Address:
300 W. Seward St. Ripon, WI 54971
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