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WIU students and Biological Sciences Associate Professor Dr. Matt Bonnan (in red shirt), one of the world's most noted paleobiologists, spent 13 days in 2010 (May 20-June 1) excavating and experiencing the excitement of discovering Jurassic Period dinosaur bones in the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry (Hanksville, Utah). Bonnan is a member of the team that, in Nov. 2009, announced to the world the discovery of a new dinosaur in South Africa, the Aardonyx celestae, or "earth claw." Dinosaurs: A Field Course is currently in development again as a 2012 study abroad course at WIU.
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Study Abroad Courses in 2012: Start Planning Now

May 5, 2011

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MACOMB, IL -- Even as the semester winds down at Western Illinois University, it's not too early to start thinking about next year and enrolling in a study abroad course. According to Kim McDaniel, an academic adviser in Western's Center for International Studies, upcoming study abroad courses include travel to India, Russia, Italy, South Korea, Spain, as well as other destinations.

"Study abroad courses are led by WIU faculty members and focus on a topic from a specific field of study," McDaniel explained. "The courses usually combine on-campus class sessions with time spent in another country or a different part of the U.S. Most offer three semester hours of credit, which may apply towards your major, minor, electives or other graduation requirements. The travel portion of the course is typically 10 days to two weeks and scheduled during a break in classes at Western."

Study abroad courses currently in development for 2012 include:

  • Stories of India -- Led by Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, professor in the sociology and anthropology department, and Sarah Haynes, professor, philosophy and religious studies. This course pairs anthropology and religious studies to provide students unique insights into Indian culture and religion.
  • Russian Agriculture -- Led by John Carlson, professor, and Kevin Bacon, associate professor, both in agriculture. This popular course introduces students to agricultural practices and trends in Russia.
  • Food Meets Fashion: Italy 2012 -- Led by Susan Creasey, assistant professor, and Jill Cassady, instructor, both in dietetics, fashion merchandising and hospitality. This course provides a unique flavor of Italy, while covering a wide spectrum representation of fashion merchandising and hospitality
  • European Business Study -- Led by Joe Dobson, professor, and Mandeep Singh, professor, both in management and marketing. This popular course introduces you to life and work cultures different from those found in the U.S. by visiting business enterprises, governmental organizations and cultural sites in London and Paris.
  • Entertaining the World: Las Vegas Hospitality -- Led by HeeJun (Ellen) Kim, assistant professor, dietetics, fashion merchandising and hospitality. This course allows students to experience the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas (NV), from an academic perspective.
  • Art in New York City -- Led by Susan Czechowski, associate professor, art. This long-running course combines tours of the best artistic sites, a sampling of history and culture, and guest lectures by professional artists to showcase the world-renown art scene that is NYC.
  • Criminal Justice Systems in South Korea -- Led by Seungmug Lee, assistant professor, law enforcement and justice administration. This course includes site visits to major components of the criminal justice system in South Korea, giving students a rarely available insider's view.
  • Dinosaurs: A Field Course -- Led by Matthew Bonnan, associate professor, biological sciences. This course enables students to participate in an active dinosaur dig in Utah alongside professional paleontologists.
  • Recreation, Sport and Leisure in Spain: A Comparative Study -- Led by Dan Yoder, professor, recreation, park and tourism administration. This course provides students with first-hand experience of Spanish culture and a wide range of recreation, sport and leisure activities, in conjunction with students from the University of Alicante.

For more information, contact McDaniel in the study abroad office at (309) 298-2504. Keep up to date with WIU's study abroad opportunities by visiting the Western Illinois University Office of Study Abroad on Facebook at

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