Wales 2024: Community Transformations

Wales is an historic nation located within the United Kingdom, but with considerable autonomy. With their own cultural and environmental sector and laws, a strong and growing minority language, and a unique geography surrounded by coasts on three sides with the Cambrian Mountains running down the nation’s spine, Wales offers a diverse, beautiful, and safe environment for students to gain experience in the environmental humanities and social sciences.

Students will learn about unique expressions of cultural, community, and economic change working with a handful of industrial communities and heritage institutions. Students will visit the country's Parliament, national art museum, four national industrial heritage museums, three national parks, and two of the four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Wales.

By the end of the program, the students will have a set of hands-on experiences (supported by a breadth of academic evidence) from which to draw upon as they question how we define community, the standards of community-based research, and how we understand the global political economy of resource extraction, use, and relations. This program centers how we can better contextualize our cultural understandings of community, place, and nature to bring nuance, respect, integrity, and justice into independent research.

  • Course Dates: April 29 - May 12, 2024
  • Application and Deposit Deadline: TBD
  • Earn 6-10 credits, including 9 in HASS


Students register for 6-9.5 summer session credits (Track A) through Michigan Technological University and pay the associated tuition costs. Students choose two or three of the following courses: SS 3960 Cultural Immersion (3 credits), SS 4551 Industrial Communities (3 credits), and  SS 4700 Communities and Research (3 credits) – all HASS courses. We will also offer optional PE courses (PE 0175- Hiking; PE 0166 Moving for Fitness). All courses meet General Education requirements and meet requirements for Social Sciences undergraduate majors and graduate students. Research opportunities may also be available - contact instructors if you are interested.

Instruction will occur in the field. Students’ involvement with partner institutions and personnel and within the larger group in exploration and discussion will replace the traditional lectures or examinations of the courses. 


Course Descriptions


We will leave Houghton April 29th and return on May 12th. We will be staying in 4 different locations across Wales.

Days Location and Activities
April 29 - May 3 Cardiff (St. Fagans National Museum of History, Welsh Parliament, Cardiff Bay, National Museum Cardiff)
May 3 - 6 St. Davids (Waterfront National Museum, Pembrokeshire National Park, National Wool Museum)

May 6 - 9

Llanberis (National Slate Museum, Snowdonia National Park, Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales World Heritage Site)
May 9 -12 Blaenafon (Brecon Beacons National Park, Big Pit, Blaenafon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site)


Students pay a $500 deposit. Students then register for summer Track A credits with MTU as normal and pay the associated tuition. Tuition will include a "lab fee" of $2,000. The deposit plus the lab fee covers the costs of the program ($2,500 overall) in addition to the instruction. This includes flight, transportation, lodging, activity expenses, and program administration. 

Study Away Information

Here are some other resources that will help you with your visit: