Roanoke College

May Term


May Term travel courses have been a tradition at the college since the early 1980s. Roanoke students travel abroad under the supervision of one or more professors to study for the month of May while earning a course credit. Destinations have included Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and other countries. Trips to museums, plays, and local landmarks are just some of the enhancements to learning usually offered. Courses in all areas of study, but English courses usually are offered. Open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Minimum GPA of 2.0.

Examples of Past Intensive Learning Courses:

INQ 277: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock (May 2012)

Professor: Dr. Srikanth Mallavarapu

Alfred Hitchcock was one of the most important filmmakers of the twentieth century, with a body of work that includes classics like Psycho, Vertigo, Rear Window and North by Northwest.  This course examined Hitchcock's contributions to film form, style, and narration, while examining the themes and motifs that run through Hitchcock's films. The class also analyzed these films as social and cultural artifacts that reflect the context in which they were produced.


INQ 277: 20th Century American Films and the Novels that Inspired Them: Exploring the American Experience (May 2012)

Professor:  Dr. Anita  Turpin  

This course explored the visions of America presented through literature and film adaptations of that literature.  The novels and films represent a diverse vision of American culture and mythology-from America as a frontier nation to America in the late 20th century.  The class looked at how the myth of the American West still pervades the culture, at the ways in which the American South creates its own milieu and wields its own influence across the continent, and at the ways in which immigrant cultures of the 20th century have further diversified an American culture which has always been formed by multicultural groups.  



INDIA INQ 277: Contemporary India in the Shadow of Gandhi (May 2011)

Instructors: Drs. Mike Heller & Martha Kuchar

The class got to experience India in this cross-disciplinary course open to students with a strong desire to help and learn. As a unique feature of the course, they engaged in service projects involving education and ecology. These efforts anchored the study of Mahatma Gandhi's vision for India's future in the context of India today. They explored and experienced India's wealth and poverty, its great religious diversity, and its rich history. Highlights: New Delhi (capital city); Agra (home of Taj Mahal); Ahmedabad (site of Mahatma Gandhi ashram); Shimla (historic city in Himalayas)

View the course's live blog here.


IRELAND INQ 277: Contemporary Irish Literature, 1916-Present (May 2011)

Instructors: Drs. Melanie Almeder & Virginia Stewart

In this course, the students studied the political, historical, and mythological roots of contemporary Irish literature as they traveled in Ireland. The readings included a selection of contemporary short story writers, poets, and playwrights and the folklore and history that inspired them. They visited key literary sights, hiked, and met a contemporary fiction writer.  Sites included: Connemara, Derry, Donegal, Dublin, and Galway

More information

Learn more about the May Term program here.