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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the summer and fall 2021 semesters.

Global Faculty-Led Experiences (FLEX)

The Lewis Global Studies Center's FLEX programming initiative offers faculty opportunities to design and lead short-term global learning travel programs (1—3 weeks) to either enhance an existing course or as a newly credited course offered during winter, spring or summer breaks. This initiative replaces the former Global Engagement Seminars. The goal is to build a range of global experiential learning activities that can be readily adapted to departmental and faculty interests. Programs may be outside of the United States or have a global theme within the United States.

Current Offerings 2019–20

Interterm 2020

Introduction to Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies
Application Deadline: October 1, 2019
Program Date: January 3–20

Cost: $4,600

This interterm course is being offered by the Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (REEES) at Smith College in cooperation with the National Research University - Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg.

The course will consist of 4 meetings during the fall semester, as well as the trip to St. Petersburg, where students will stay on the premises of the NRU-HSE, take academic classes with NRU-HSE staff, socialize with NRU-HSE students, and explore the history and contemporary culture of Russia's second capital

Join this program in one of the world's most beautiful cities and you will:

  • learn about the history and contemporary culture of Russia and its second capital
  • immerse yourself in Russian culture during visits to course-related sites, and a variety of cultural excursions and activities
  • take English language classes together with Russian peers
  • explore the city's impressive historical and cultural sites with weekly field trips

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students interested in this program MUST have a valid passport at the time of application.  Additionally, the passport must be vaild for 18 months after the program ends.

Students will be enrolled in RES 105 St. Petersburg: History, Politics and Culture: Interterm in Russia, 2 credits

Summer 2020

Climate Change and Environmental Justice in Morocco
Application Deadline: November 15, 2019
Program Date: 
 June 1–18,  2020
Cost: $3,950

The Global FLEX Climate Change and Environmental Justice in Morocco program will examine the multifaceted dimension of climate change in a populous middle-income country. Morocco is located in northwest Africa and the editerranean basin -- a region that, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is already experiencing significant challenges posed by climate change and is expected to be profoundly affected in the future. The course addresses this dynamic in a holistic fashion. It treats the issues spatially (i.e., local, regional and global levels of analysis) as well as temporally (in terms of the historical backdrop, contemporary issues, and future implications). Themes include economic development, agriculture and hydrology, policies of climate adaptation, gender politics, and migration.


Buddhist Culture and Thought of Japan
Application Deadline: February 10, 2020
Program Date: May 12–June 7, 2020

Cost: $4,800

This Global FLEX program will bring students to Kyoto University for a three week intensive study focused on Buddhist Studies: doctrine, history, art and architecture, performing arts (tea, Noh), martial arts, contemporary philosophy, Buddhist psychology, ritual and contemplative practice, and visits to temples and other sites. Classes will be taught by a team of Kyoto University faculty and colleagues along with the Smith faculty member who accompanies the group.

Students will be enrolled in BUS 254 Buddhist Culture and Thought of Japan, 3 credits

Application Instructions for Students

Students may apply for a Global FLEX program online using Smith International Travel Experiences System (SITES). Guest students can create a profile and log into SITES here. Once in SITES, go to Search Programs and use the keyword ‘FLEX’ to locate the current programs.

Instructions for Faculty

  1. An initial site visit to plan the program and select local program providers, usually the year prior to the planned program. Faculty may be asked to seek additional support from CFCD or departmental funds.
  2. A one-time program development stipend of $1,000 is available for new programs.
  3. A faculty stipend of $2,000/week, for a maximum program length of three weeks, for planning, designing, leading and reporting on the travel program.
  4. Flight, accommodations and meals for the traveling faculty member.
  5. Partial coverage of student expenses based on financial need status. Students will be expected to pay for some portion of their program fees, and any related visa, immunization or other travel expenses.
  1. Priority funding is for programs intended to be offered on at least two occasions, with calendar year timing dependent on the number of trips offered each year. Funding beyond two trips will need to be supported from other sources.
  2. Faculty are required to participate in a risk management workshop and training offered annually.  Additional pre-departure risk assessment meetings will also be required.
  3. In most cases, logistics will be supported by a local contractor or institution. A services contract and/or MOU will be prepared by the faculty member and local contractor in coordination with the Lewis Center.
  4. Programs are required to include professional student affairs support to assist with logistics and handle student health and safety issues during the program.
  5. Faculty will write a short report with documentation (such as photos and student assignments) for donor reports, to be submitted within 90 days of the end of the program.
  6. Students will complete evaluations and submit thank you letters to the donor(s) at the end of the program.

Course enhancement proposals will require Lewis Global Studies Center and Committee on Study Abroad (CSA) approval; proposals requesting a new course designation and credit will also need to be submitted to the Committee on Academic Priorities (CAP). This process can take 6—10 weeks depending on when the initial proposal is received.

  1. Proposal is initially submitted to the Lewis Center directors for review and determination of viability.
  2. Based on initial review and requests for additional information, proposals are subsequently forwarded to CSA for study abroad approval.
  3. Proposals that request a new credited course (typically 2 credits), and supported by the Lewis Center and CSA, are submitted to CAP for final consideration and course approval.

Please direct any questions about the Global FLEX program or the process to Laura Gomez.