Academics make up the most significant part of this program. Classes are an integrated learning environment where you'll not only be reading, but also experiencing the places and people where the books were written. You'll be surrounded by an entire learning community of students who are studying and writing the same papers as you. Have a question about your paper? Since your professors are along on the trip, you can even ask for help with your thesis at midnight.
Global Studies Minor: 18 units
The courses listed below will inform and inspire you along your journey around the world. Papers will be written on tablets and texts read on Kindles so you can save space in your backpack.
This course surveys the transition from Modernism to Postmodernism with novels from 8-10 countries as well as postcolonial theory with novels from Africa and South Asia. Readings, lectures, discussions, and assessments cover postcolonial theory, postmodernism, literary technique, the role of religion, and the question of personal and national identity.
- The Violent Land
- The Heart of Redness
- The Forty Rules of Rule
- The Accident
- The Royal Ghosts: Stories
- Under the Banyan Tree
This course will study the literary and sacred masterpieces from the countries visited during the Around-the-World semester and examine these texts in light of their historical context, literary technique, the role of religion, and the question of personal and national identity.
- African Legends, Myths, & Folktales for Readers Theatre
- The Kindle Qur’an
- The Bhagavad Gita
- Jaina Sutras (Part II)
- The Forest of Thieves and the Magic Garden: An Anthology of Medieval Jain Stories
- Guru Granth Sahib – English Versio
This course will introduce the basic concepts of international service and development projects as it prepares students for the rigor and routines of the Around-the-World Semester and gives students the tools to begin studying, serving, and traveling for eighteen weeks abroad.
Students will study theories of cross-cultural adaptation, acclimation, and assimilation in this course. Occurring before their departure for the study-abroad country, students will be better prepared to make the transition to their new home and develop an awareness of others and self, and become more effective observers of internal (intra-personal) changes, and external (inter-personal) discovery.
The globalization of organizations, public and private, and their multicultural make-up requires today's citizens to have a solid cross-cultural competence, involving an understanding of one's own culture and communication preferences, identifying others' preferences, and having a flexible behavioral repertoire to bridge cultural differences.
This course will provide specific applications for learning a new foreign language and understanding English structure and usage, including sound system, word formation, grammar, syntax, expression of meaning, variation, etymology, and/or change; cultural and artistic uses of languages; and comparison of oral and written aspects of language.
This course is meant to bring the practical service experience to students as they take responsibility for a variety of service projects that will challenge them, not only as they prepare ahead of time for outreach, but also as they adapt to sharing messages of love and forgiveness.
- Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence
- Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things
- Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission
- Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service
- Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
An intense creative nonfiction writing course combined with ethnographic research, blogging, and backpack journalism as students write about thirty-five pages of essays, profiles, literary journalism, and reviews that will be published weekly on a blog together with photos and video content. Assignments will require students to observe and engage with people in various countries where they are volunteering and studying.
- Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer
- Pass The Butterworms: Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered
- Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East
- Backpacks, Backroads, and Backstories: a Textbook for Travel Writing
Each team leader below is a veteran of at least one Around-the-World Semester®. To learn more about them, click on their names below.
Assistant Professor of English
Professor Lee currently teaches Postcolonial Literature, Film as Literature, Travel Writing, and serves as Lead Faculty for "World Literature from the Enlightenment" in the Core Curriculum. He has also taught Modern Novel, Literary Criticism, and Literary Theory.
He has led over 150 students to 40 countries since 2007. In addition to leading summer mission trips to China, India, East Africa, and Guatemala, he led the first two Around-the-World Semesters and has backpacked in over 100 countries on six continents. He recently completed a textbook for travel writing called Backroads, Backpacks, and Backstories.
He lived in Asia for nine years where he trained teachers and taught university English in South Korea, China and Mongolia. In Korea he published English Reloaded, a textbook for college English conversation.
Lee has partnered with LCMS World Missions, YWAM, E3, Operational Mobilization, Cup of Cold Water Ministries, the Sisters of Charity, and World Mission Prayer League.
- M.A. English Literature - University of St. Thomas (1994)
- B.A. English Literature - Concordia University, Irvine (1992)
Associate Professor of English
Dr. Norton teaches courses in Shakespearean drama, 18th-century British literature, and American literature. He also teaches in the English core curriculum. Although primarily a Shakespearean, Norton’s academic interests are wide, and he enjoys uncovering and analyzing the life in Shakespeare and other literature in his classes and in his writing. Norton’s articles have appeared in Shakespeare, Early Modern Literary Studies, and Continuum Renaissance Drama.
Norton is one of the leaders and developers of the Around-the-World Semester. He and his family, wife Erica, son Jack, and daughter Naomi, traveled around the world with the first ATW team in 2010. Norton worked with the 2012 ATW team in India and Bolivia. Through his work with the ATW semester, Norton has helped to design the Global Cultural Studies Minor and the International Studies Major.
Some of Dr. Norton’s fondest memories at Concordia are from his years as head coach of the men's and women's tennis teams, 2005-2010.
- Ph.D. - English, Sheffield Hallam University
- M.A. - California State University, Fullerton
- B.A. - Point Loma Nazarene University
Dean, School of Arts and Sciences / Professor of ESS
Dr. Tim Preuss serves as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Concordia University in Irvine. Dr. Preuss' career began in education where he served as a high school teacher and coach from 1983-85 in Houston, TX. In 1985 he accepted a call to Concordia University in Nebraska. Preuss served as assistant football coach and Director of Admissions until 1994 when he joined the faculty as a Professor of Health and Human Performance. In addition to football, he also assumed head coaching duties for the softball team and won three league titles between 1994 and 2001.
In 2005 Preuss accepted the call to become Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science and Director of Athletics at Concordia – Irvine. During his tenure, the athletic department gained national prominence, finishing 6th, 5th, 3rd and 2nd in the Directors Cup National All-Sports standings.
As Dean of the School, Dr. Preuss oversees the Departments of Art, Music, Theatre, Communication, English & Humanities, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Behavioral Sciences, History & Political Science and Psychology.
The School also offers a Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration for which Preuss serves as a faculty member teaching Sport Technology and Strength, Speed and Conditioning courses.
Dr. Preuss is married to Debbie Lang-Preuss. He and Debbie have four children: Seth, Lydia, Matthew and Abigail.
- Ph.D. - University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2001
Learning new things and listening to stories have always been fascinating to Ellie. She loved the time her family spent as volunteers for Alaska Mission for Christ. For 7 summers her family traveled by boat to Southeast Alaska's small Native American communities. God allowed them to both share and experience His love in those remote places. This provided a unique foundation to many travel experiences. As a student at CUI, she was able to participate in trips to Costa Rica and East Africa, as well as both Around-the-World Semester® I and II. She is in awe that Around-the-World Semester® will continue to be a part of her life as she takes on the Graduate Assistant (GA) role for ATW III.
- B.A. - International Studies, Concordia University Irvine
This is Alex's last year at Concordia. It's been an amazing time full of rich experiences and wonderful people. Being a student in the anthropology program has opened his eyes to the diverse-cultural beauty our world has to offer. Last year he was blessed with the opportunity to go on the Around-the-World Semester® and experience this beauty firsthand. It was a time of tremendous growth for him both on the trip and ever since. He is honored to be a part of continuing this tradition and sharing these experiences with the next generation of Rounders.
- B.A. - Anthropology, Concordia University Irvine
Seth feels very blessed to have been a member of the 2012 Around-the-World Semester® II team and to have traveled with his family and close friends. He continues to see the impact of the trip in his daily life! He is pursuing his Master’s in Theology and working in the Athletics department on campus as a graduate assistant to the Director of Athletic Communications. He is looking forward to interacting and learning alongside all the new students and those that he will interact with on our travels!
- B.A. - History, Concordia University Irvine
Joanna is incredibly thankful to have graduated with many lifelong friends. During her 4 years of college, God provided her with numerous opportunities to get involved in the Concordia community. One of the most memorable was serving and learning in 10 countries across the globe with the first Around-the-World Semester team in 2010. She continues to be reminded of the trip because God never fails to delicately weave it into her everyday life. As she works here in Irvine and in Huntington Beach as well, she is grateful to be able to see those around her through a lens crafted not only by her experiences around-the-world, but also by her experiences on Concordia's campus. She looks forward to serving and learning with the next Around-the-World Semester® team!
- B.A. - Psychology, Concordia University Irvine
Improve Your Writing
- Clichés are dead words.
- Overused words or phrases in your papers will lower your grade.
- Come up with fresh ways to think about your ideas.
- Transform your writing by finding new lenses to view your trip.