FYS-111 Happy Feet

Instructor: Associate Professor VoonChin Phua
Department: Sociology

Course Description:
Leaving for college, moving to a new home, going on family vacations, and studying abroad are common experiences that students have experienced or will experience. In this seminar, students will have a semester to think and talk about these mobilities and their consequences from a sociological perspective. Together, we will explore the decisions we have made, are making, or will make; the experiences as a result of these decisions; and how they are situated in a broader context. The seminar will introduce students to basic sociological concepts and teach them how to frame and discuss the issues beyond a personal level. The materials used in class will draw from different disciplines and media to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the disciplines. Class meetings will include debates and discussions on topics such as transitioning to college, tourism, buying souvenirs, studying abroad, and adapting to new environments. This seminar also emphasizes cross-cultural experiences and interpretations of these issues. After Happy Feet, students will better understand the issues related to mobilities and feel empowered to make educated decisions in college and thereafter. Previous travel experience of any form is definitely not a prerequisite. [This First Year Seminar includes a pre-orientation study abroad trip to Mexico, and there will be an additional cost of approximately $700 per student for this pre-seminar trip.]