Strasbourg & Kehl

 CIEE Paris Study Tour - Spring Block II

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Nestled along France’s border with Germany, and connected to the German city of Kehl by a pedestrian and bike bridge as well as a common park, Strasbourg was fawned over and fought over for centuries by the two nations before returning to France at the end of World War II. The city is a core of pedestrian cobbled streets, canals, half-timbered houses and spires where you can satisfy both your physical appetite (with copious rustic Alsatian dishes) and your intellectual curiosity (with impressive art and culture museums). Toss in the seat of the European Parliament, a lively bar scene and some repurposed historical buildings—now elegant hotels and gastronomic havens—and you have an international city with year-round appeal.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

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Friday

GUIDED VISIT OF THE INSTITUTION
We will learn about a prominent European institution and what distinguishes it from the European power structure that includes the Commission, the Parliament, the Court of Justice of the EU as well as its near-namesakes, the European Council and the Council of the European Union.

VISIT TO THE PHARMACOPÉE EUROPÉENNE
The main functions of the European Pharmacopoeia are to ensure a standard quality for drugs across the European Union and to issue certifications. We will find out about some of the criteria and parameters involved in establishing common norms and certifying specific drugs across different countries.

Saturday

GUIDED TOUR OF THE PARK OF THE TWO BANKS
This theme tour will focus on French-German relations over time, from war to reconciliation and from economic exchange to European integration. We will cross the Rhine river and end our walk in Germany.

Sunday

MUSÉE ALSACIEN
Located in three outstanding houses dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, this museum on the traditional regional lifestyle of Alsace displays collections of costumes, toys and furniture. Just as importantly, its maze of staircases, galleries and courtyards will lead you through reconstructed Alsatian interiors, from bedrooms to pharmacy labs to the shared space around the fireplace, with the Alsatian stub a fitting conclusion to the visit.

MUSÉE PIXEL / GROUP #1
Self-described as the first museum dedicated to video gaming in France, the Musée Pixel is also brand new (2017). Over the course of the permanent exhibition on 40 years of video games, visitors get to see historic examples of home games and arcade games, the most recent developments in creation and some of the industry’s background. The economy of French video games (France is one of the leaders in world creation and production) is also featured.

MUSÉE VODOU
This unlikely museum offers one of the richest collections of voodoo artifacts and works of art. Focusing on the voodoo practices of Western Africa, the site invites you to consider animist beliefs in the environs of a late 19th century water tower.

Free Time Suggestions

Cathedral

The Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Strasbourg is one of the jewels of Gothic architecture in France. With its huge, towering spire and rich, roan stone, it bears witness to the extraordinary wealth of the city in the 13th century, when it was built. Flamboyant carving, and magnificent laughing angels (and the Tempter) greet you at the portal. Once inside, marvel at the stained glass rosary and the astronomical clock stage-left of the altar, an ingenious piece of Renaissance technology. It is on the main square of Strasbourg, and you can’t miss it!

Strasbourg's German District

When Strasbourg was Prussian, between 1871 and 1914, the Empire decided to turn the city into the capital of the “Reichsland of Alsace-Lorraine”, a testament to the glory of triumphant power. A “new city” (Neustadt) was built in the northeastern part of Strasbourg, resulting in a three-fold increase of its surface area. This monumental and residential neighborhood, with its large avenues and eclectic architectural styles, is worth checking out.

WHAT ARE THE STUDY TOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES?

The intercultural learning objectives of the study tour curriculum—delivered in two parts, pre- and post-tour—are to promote cultural self-awareness, cultural literacy, and the ability to bridge cultural gaps. Through activities and exercises, students are encouraged to consider issues of culture, identity, values, beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, students develop competencies to experience new and unfamiliar experiences without relying on stereotypes and heuristics.

Each study tour should achieve learning objectives in each academic track whereby students can:

ARTICULATE some of their own values and beliefs, and explain how these values and beliefs, as well as their experiences, have shaped their own views surrounding politics and international
relations in general.

RECOGNIZE diversity and difference within the local cultural context, and be able to compare and contrast this with the diversity that exists in other contexts with which they may be familiar.

IDENTIFY at least two ways in which practices surrounding media in the host environment are culturally-influenced and/or ways that media practices in the host environment impacts culture.

EVALUATE at least two ways in which social and cultural factors in the host environment have influenced values, beliefs, assumptions, or practices surrounding local healthcare.

DECONSTRUCT their own assumptions and values and analyze how these shape their views on international business. In addition to achieving learning objectives in the academic tracks a study tour presents opportunities to support students understanding the cultural beings of Self and Other. These include developing abilities to self-reflect and become more self-aware, increase their understanding of the salient values in their previous and current environment, and develop their capacity for the awareness of others in their previous and current cultural context.

Paris, France

CIEE Open Campus Block Program

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