Community Learning is central to the general mission of the Castle Rock Institute study expedition. We sponsor a semester-long learning program for college and university students that combines different wilderness adventure activities and university courses in the Humanities. This is a unique study abroad australia program. Unlike other study abroad australia programs, the Castle Rock Institute semester has a significant wilderness adventure component.
An Alternative to Ordinary College Life
The Institute's study abroad australia program encourages interdisciplinary thought and experimentation by focusing each semester on an issue or theme drawn from the Humanities. This theme serves as the main topic of discussion and area of research for participants in the expedition. More about this below.
The Castle Rock Institute is a wilderness-based center for the Humanities affiliated with Brevard College (a 4-year, liberal arts college in western North Carolina). As a study abroad australia program, it seeks applications from college students from the United States to live, study and experience the outdoors together for a semester. Based in a lodge set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Institute aims to enliven the study of the Humanities through focused interdisciplinary classwork, attention to community, and through organized group wilderness adventure activities.
A Full Semester of College Credit
All Institute students enroll in 4 courses taught at Castle Rock by Institute Senior Fellows. Each course meets regularly throughout the semester and awards four hours of academic credit. Students also spend multiple full and half days per week participating in small group adventure activities like rock climbing, backpacking, and paddling. Through this study abroad australia expedition, the Institute strives to balance and integrate scholarship and adventure, and believes that doing so can realize significant benefits for both.
Different from the historical approach of most college Humanities programs, the curriculum at the Castle Rock Institute is organized thematically. Instead of sweeping through a series of "great books," all of the courses offered during each semester at the Institute address a single issue, idea or theme drawn from the Humanities. Accordingly, each class explicitly considers how insights offered by the other disciplines can contribute to an overall understanding of the theme at hand.
Study Abroad Australia
One of the distinguishing features of this expedition is its itenerary. It will take students into some of the most scenic and remote areas of the continent, places where tourists seldom travel. It will be unlike any other college program.
As a complement to its academic mission, the Castle Rock Institute organizes for its residents a variety of outdoor adventure activities. The Institute takes seriously the idea that there is a fundamental connection between body and mind, between the embodied practice of lived experience and the more abstract, theoretical concerns of the intellect.