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Exploration Term-Contract Learning

Welcome to Exploration Term 2013

Exploration Term, the middle of Birmingham-Southern's 4-1-4 academic calendar, offers a wide range of unique learning opportunities and invites students to become more involved in the learning process.

Students develop their potential for creative activity and independent study by exploring one topic or interest. The focus of the term is experiential learning, with the intention of enhancing the liberal arts education through hands-on, practical experience and in-depth, personal knowledge. Students may choose from on-campus projects, independent study or research, study-travel experiences, and challenging internships.

Extracurricular activities such as speakers, field trips, films, and discussion groups are available. First-year students may travel during January, but they must choose from an established project listed in the Exploration Term Bulletin. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may choose from the following options or design their own project under the guidance of a BSC faculty sponsor.

Make the most of your educational experience by taking advantage of the opportunities available during the Exploration Term term— create, explore, experiment, research, perform, inquire, and more.

Important Information for 2013


BSC now posts information about available internships to All students and faculty may log on to search the internship opportunities.

Study Travel Procedures

Several forms and procedures are required for study travel:

Student rock-climbingAll students interested in study travel must complete and sign a Statement of Interest in Travel (SIT) form. The SIT form lets the Office of Exploration Term and Contract Learning (OECL) know that you plan to travel during Exploration Term, and allows the OECL to confirm your eligibility to travel. For faculty-led travel, this form will be available from the trip leader. For independent travel using a Contract, the form will is available from the OECL (Norton 262). The SIT form must be signed and returned to the trip leader before a student can be placed on a departure list. Blank SIT Forms may also be found here.

For faculty-led travel projects, after the OECL receives the SIT form, the student will receive a Financial Agreement that gives the cost and billing schedule for the trip. This document must be completed and returned to the faculty trip leader by the deadline listed on the form (usually early in the Fall term). Once the student has completed this billing contract and made the appropriate deposit to the trip leader, he or she will be considered a participant in that trip, understanding that the balance on the trip must be paid in full by the final payment deadline stated in the Financial Agreement for your study-travel project.Emily Culvern, Cloud Forest Tree, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Costa Rica: Sustainability, Spirituality and Service)

In order to register for Exploration Term study-travel, you MUST have a valid passport or have applied for an expedited passport by
October 5, 2012

Release forms for faculty-led study-travel must be returned along with your Financial Agreement; for independent contracts the due is the same day as the Exploration Term contract deadline, October 19. A signed release form is required before any student may make main payments for study-travel or be placed on a departure list.

BSC Travel Policy

All students interested in study travel are expected to read and conform to the travel policy statement and the travel warning policy. This applies to students traveling on faculty-led projects as well as those traveling independently.

A calendar of significant dates related to the Exploration Term is available on the Important Dates page.