Study Abroad Course Listing

Winter 2015 course information

The Program

Taiwan is one of the most tectonically active and biologically diverse places on Earth. National Taiwan University, our host institution, is also one of the premier educational institutions in Asia, and provides ideal base for exploring the geologic and natural history of the island. Sitting on the Tropic of Cancer in the western Pacific and having over a hundred peaks above 3000 m, natural environs range from the warm and dry rolling hills and broad beaches of southern Taiwan to the tropical rain forests that cover much of the lower elevations in northern Taiwan. A high erosion rate, related in part to the dozen or so typhoons that cross the island each year, also exposes a wide range of rock types with a diverse history, providing one of the world’s most spectacular natural laboratories.

The Academics

This is a 3-week course for students interested in mixing field-based geologic mapping with an introduction to Chinese culture and history.

The course will consist of a suite of weekly lectures and discussions stating halfway through fall semester and a 3-week trip to Taiwan where students will participate in 3 to 4 four-day mapping modules consisting of field mapping, data collection and synthesis. Students will be outdoors hiking and collecting data most of time while in Taiwan. Classroom lectures in the fall (at UConn) and in January (in Taiwan) will discuss fundamental geologic processes and how these processes lead to geologic hazards. Students will be in the field or classroom 8-10 hours a day with one day off each week. Students will be staying in a combination of hotels, dormitories, guest houses and hostels.

Students will earn 4 credits for the program: 1 credit in Fall 2014 (GSCI 4999) and 3 credits during Winter Session 2015.

Participants on the program will know how to: identify, map and interpret various geologic rock types; collect, record and catalog geologic data and; interpret critical observations in the context of geologic history and geohazard recognition, assessment and mitigation. They will also know how to work collectively in both collecting data and making interpretations.

Student progress will be evaluated through a combination of written assignments, field reports, field projects and oral presentations. Each 3 to 4 day module will end with a notebook of data and observations, a geologic map and/or cross-section and a written report. Each set of reports will be graded and returned with written comments and suggestions. Students will  be expected to incorporate the comments and suggestions in completing assignments associated with the next module. All assignments and assessments will be completed before leaving Taiwan.

The Experience

Taiwan, only slightly larger in area than Massachusetts, is home to nearly 20 million people most of whom have friends and/or family in China or the United States, or both. Consequently, Taiwan provides a unique opportunity for UConn students to bridge Eastern and Western cultures through a third country with its own unique history and economic and cultural place in the world. The field modules and classroom lectures will include an equal number of Taiwan students and the lectures and field exercises will be co-lead by faculty from UConn and National Taiwan University. Students will also be sharing housing and meals with Taiwanese students. This combination will truly immersion students in Taiwan and Chinese cultures and it will allow both groups of students see each others worlds first hand.


Please note that financial aid, other than certain scholarships, cannot be applied to the cost of this program. Click the “More Information and To Apply” button on the right for this program’s budget sheet.