Bali is one of the most unique islands on planet earth: Culturally it is a mix of Hindu and Animist religions; Environmentally it holds incredible terrestrial and aquatic diversity, beaches, jungles, volcanoes, coral reefs and indigenous and modern agricultural landscapes; Politically and Economically is has taken a very different path to development than the rest of Indonesia and Southeast Asia more broadly; and in terms of Health and Well-being it is a “blue-zone,” a place where people live longer and in better health than much of the rest of the world. Bali, then, is an incredible laboratory for focusing on some of the most interesting and important questions of the past, present and future of human-environment interaction.
This field course will examine this complex relationship between people and environment in Bali by traveling in and through the landscape. We will have the opportunity to explore tropical forests, coral reefs, ancient temples, villages, both indigenous and futuristic approaches to sustainable living, and more. As a result, students from all majors and programs will find something of interest in this course.
Our host will be the Bali Institute for Global Renewal, an organization dedicated to education about environmental and cultural conservation and social justice. After a few days of classroom-based activities (language and etiquette training, research preparation and acclimatization) we will travel throughout the island stopping at cultural and religious sites, sea turtle and coral conservation areas, remote villages and even the Biosphere project’s field station. Our academic goals will be to conduct student-driven research using geo-spatial tools and perspectives to gain insight into the complex and dynamic relationship between culture and environment. We will also focus on the opportunities for personal discovery, challenge and transformation possible through this type of experience. Students will come away with a profound sense of how different a place can be, ultimately learning a core lesson of international travel: it’s a big, wide and incredible world we live in.
(includes: lodging, some meals, ground transportation, excursions, etc.)
Total Program Cost Estimate: $4,566