A study abroad australia program for University and College students wanting a semester off campus

The Castle Rock Institute sponsors a unique study abroad australia program, semester-long and a summer opportunities for college students that combine various outdoor adventure activities and accredited college courses in the Humanities. Unlike other study abroad australia programs, the Castle Rock Institute semester program has a significant outdoor adventure component. It is a true expedition where students travel while they learn and grapple with issues of Community Learning.

An Extraordinary College Experience

The Institute's study abroad australia program encourages interdisciplinary thought and experimentation by focusing each semester on an issue or idea drawn from the Humanities. This theme serves as the main topic of discussion for the duration of the expedition.

As a study abroad australia program, it seeks applications from college and university students to live, study, travel, and experience the natural world together for a semester. Based in a lodge set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the Institute aims to enliven the study of the Humanities through focused interdisciplinary classwork, attention to community, and through organized group outdoor adventure activities.

philosophy class in the cave

Study Abroad Australia

This expedition takes students to some of the most beautiful and remote areas of the continent. It it a true expedition that requires everyone to work together as they travel each day through different wilderness areas. No other college program offers this kind of adventure.

As a complement to its academic mission, the Castle Rock Institute organizes for its residents a variety of outdoor adventure activities. On this study abroad australia expedition, 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. It strives to create a balanced and wholistic educational experience for college and university students.

A Full Semester of Academic Credit

The Castle Rock Institute is a wilderness-based center for the Humanities affiliated with Brevard College (a small, 4-year, liberal arts college in western North Carolina). All student participants enroll in 4 college courses taught by Institute Senior Professors. Each course meets regularly throughout the semester and awards 4 hours of college credit. Students also spend several full and half days per week participating in small group activities like rock climbing, backpacking, and paddling, and when on the expedition, stay on the move throughout the time. The Institute strives to balance and integrate scholarship, community and adventure, and believes that doing so can realize significant benefits for all. By eliminating the ordinarily compartmentalized nature of ordinary college life, this program demonstrates what an integrated and meaningful college education can be.

Applied Humanities

Again, different from the common 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. Students consider how material from each class can inform discussions and insights in other classes. For example, a semester devoted to the notion of "identity" may consider how the use of masks in African religious rituals or how French Existentialist conceptions of self can inform a Henry James novel, or can affect the composition of a painting or pencil sketch. Here too, the goal is to create an integrated educational experience that can truly mean something to a student throughout the rest of his or her life.

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