Wales 2025: 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, six national museums, three national parks, four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and spend at least three days at Europe's largest cultural festival, the National Eisteddfod, hosted in Wrexham in 2025.

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. The program fee includes registration and lodging for the biennial International Welsh Studies Conference hosted at Rio Grande University in 2025 where all students will begin the program immersing themselves in contemporary academic debates about Wales and the Welsh identity and diaspora.

Wales: Community Transformations centers how we can better contextualize our cultural understandings of community, place, and nature to bring nuance, respect, integrity, and justice into independent research.

  • Program Dates: June 23 - August 9, 2025
  • Travel Dates: July 16 - August 9, 2025
  • Application and Deposit Deadline: March 7, 2025
  • Earn 6-10 credits, including 6 in HASS


Students enroll in 6-10 summer session credits (Track B) 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; HASS) or SS 5201 Cultural Immersion (1-3 credits), SS 4551/5501 Industrial Communities (3 credits), and SS 4710 Geographies of Migrant Communities (3 credits; HASS). We will also offer two optional PE courses (PE 0167 Moving for Fitness and PE 0175- Hiking). Courses meet General Education requirements and capstone, methods, and major requirements for Social Sciences undergraduate and graduate students. Additional 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 of the courses. 


Course Descriptions


We will travel together from Columbus, OH on July 16, fly together as a group from Columbus to London on July 19th, have a private coach for most of the program and return to the United States on August 9th, with the option of staying longer or traveling elsewhere.

Days Location and Activities
June 23 - July 15 Bi-weekly Zoom and in-person cultural immersion prep classes, primarily Welsh language introduction and practice
July 16 - 19 The International Welsh Studies Conference, Madog Center for Welsh Studies, Rio Grande University, Rio Grande, Ohio
July 20 - 25 Cardiff (St. Fagans National Museum of History, Welsh Parliament, Cardiff Bay, National Museum Cardiff, Swansea and the National Waterfront Museum visits)
July 25 - 28

Bannau Brycheiniau National Park (Big Pit Coal Mine, Blaenafon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site, Hay-on-Wye, Waterfalls)

July 28 - 30

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (National Wool Museum, Neolithic Standing Stones)
July 30 - August 2 Llanberis (Aberystwyth and the National Library of Wales stop, Eryri National Park, Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales World Heritage Site, Caernarvon and Penrhyn Castles)
August 2 - 9 Llangollen (Wrexham National Eisteddfod, Pontcysyllte Aquaduct and Canal World Heritage Site, Offa's Dyke border hike, Chester and Liverpool visits)


Students pay a $1,000 deposit. Students then register for summer Track B credits with MTU as normal and pay the associated tuition. Tuition will include a "lab fee" of $1,500. The deposit plus the lab fee covers the costs of the program ($2,500 overall) in addition to the instruction and tuition costs. This includes flights, in-country transportation, lodging, activity expenses, some meals, travel insurance, registration and lodging for the Welsh Studies conference, and program administration. 

Study Away Information

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