October 22, 2014, BY Matt Hughes

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Bucknell is heading to the islands this summer. The Office of International Education has unveiled four new Bucknell-in study abroad options for the summer 2015 semester, each exploring the politics and culture of an island nation: Great Britain, Japan, Indonesia, and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Bucknell-in programs are supervised by Bucknell faculty who act as teachers and guides. Students take courses that qualify for University credit with Bucknell and local faculty, ensuring they keep pace with their classmates in Lewisburg.

"The Bucknell-in summer programs provide students with three opportunities," said Stephen Appiah-Padi, director of the Office of International Education. "They allow students to explore international travel and off-campus study as a gateway to future experiences; they provide off-campus opportunities for students who are not able to participate in programs during the academic year; and they provide an opportunity for students to study and work with Bucknell faculty in an environment or on a subject where they have specialized expertise."

Here's a deeper look at how students will dive beneath the surface of life in these island cultures:

Bucknell in London Internship Program

Coming on the heels of a historic vote on Scottish independence and amidst ongoing domestic tensions over Britain's relationship with the EU, the Bucknell in London Internship Program will give students an insider's view of the British parliamentary system. Students will take Political Science 220, a survey of the British political system, and experience that system in action through a public policy internship. Possible placements include political parties, members of parliament's constituency offices, print and broadcast media, non-government organizations and even Parliament itself.

Bucknell in Japan

Students in the new Bucknell in Japan summer program will also get an up-close look at the shifting politics of a world power, in this case by examining the attitudes, approaches and solutions Japan has marshaled regarding sustainability. The students will visit Fukushima Prefecture, where cleanup from the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster continues. They will also travel the breadth of Japan's main island, from Hiroshima in the southwest to the northern Tohoku region, with stops in the historic and modern capitals of Kyoto and Tokyo. Along the way they will examine Japan's approaches to sustainability in four areas: nuclear power use, environment, language and culture, from the dual viewpoints of biology and humanities.

Bucknell in Bali

Students in Bucknell's new summer program in Indonesia will explore the mathematical underpinnings of gamelan (the traditional music of the Indonesian island province) and attend guest workshops with some of Bali's leading performing artists. These master craftsmen will introduce students to shadow puppetry, instrument building, offering-making, mask performance and dance, while class excursions will take them to traditional markets and temples, and up a volcanic caldera.

Bucknell in the Caribbean

Based on the island of Nevis, the Bucknell in the Caribbean program will look beyond the region's tourist destinations and encourage students to immerse themselves in its rich and diverse culture. In conjunction with literary analysis, the program course will explore the distinctive synthesis of British, Spanish, French and West African cultures found in Nevis and throughout the Caribbean; the legacies of the historical industries of slave trading and sugar cane production; and the country's efforts to preserve the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. 

The new programs join a list of six summer programs returning in 2015: Bucknell in Northern Ireland, Bucknell in Barbados, Bucknell in Denmark, Bucknell in New Orleans, Bucknell in the Virgin Islands and Engineering 290, a field course for engineers that will this year take students to Rome, Venice and other cities in northern Italy. Bucknell also offers semester-long programs abroad during the fall and spring semesters, with additional opportunities available through more than 150 approved programs.