Past extended study courses have included travel to Uganda.

Students in extended study courses left for Israel and Egypt this week to further explore concepts developed in their classrooms during the fall semester at Colgate.

Both courses, Living Egypt and The Land of Israel, focus on deep historical understanding of culture in the respective countries, and how the past has influenced where each nation is today.

“I want my students to take away more than a tourist’s view of the country, to understand the deeper meaning of historical and religious sites for Israelis and for Palestinians, and then to meet people on the streets, in their homes, and in their places of work,” said Steven Kepnes, Murray W. and Mildred K. Finard professor in Jewish studies and religion.

Land of Israel students are slated to visit historical and religious locations in Jerusalem, take part in an archaeological dig at Beit Guvrin, and take a trip to the Dead Sea, while also attending lectures and participating in class discussions.

Students in the Living Egypt extended study will be encouraged to speak Arabic on their trip while visiting Coptic Cairo, the University of Alexandria, homes of Egyptians, and a local factory, along with stops at the pyramids and the Egyptian Museum, said Noor Khan, associate professor of history.

“I want them to get a sense of what it means to be Egyptian in 2012.  We want them to really speak Arabic in an authentic environment and get the kind of unconscious cultural information that only being there gives,” Khan said. “ That’s why they will have local partners their age to practice speaking and to learn about their lives …. The heart of the trip really is about knowing Egypt as it is today, a very important point in its history.”

Colgate students enrolled in extended study take a regular course during the semester, and then travel with their classmates during the recess. Spring 2013 extended study courses include Argentina, Costa Rica, Greece, and Uganda. Past extended study groups have examined the role of non-governmental organizations in Bangladesh, comparative health systems in Beijing, and alternative energy in Norway.