Henry J. Leir Luxembourg Program

  • Europa HouseThe May Term in Luxembourg


Students may enroll in only one of the two courses offered each May Term.  Enrolled Clark and Holy Cross students will receive normal day-college credit (1 full unit) upon successful completion of a course.  Students from other schools must make arrangements to have credits transferred to their home institution (1 Clark unit is equivalent to 4 credits).  All courses are taught in English.

May Term 2014 Courses

From Total War to European Union (History 006) will be taught by Theresa McBride, Professor of History. The fascinating and tragic history of Europe in the twentieth century was marked twice by total war. World War I laid the foundation for the rise of Fascism and Nazism in the 1920s and 1930s, but the Second World War, even more destructive than the first, was followed by the extraordinary period of peace among the European states and the integration of these states into the European Union. Luxembourg is at the center of this history, both as a battleground and as a founding member of the European community. Picturesque Remich on the Moselle River is near the site of the signing of the “Schengen Agreements” that allow people to travel, study and work throughout the EU. While the current crisis in the Eurozone economies has challenged monetary union, the idea of Europe remains a strong bond among the 27 member states. From our residence in Remich, we will explore cultural and historical sites in France, Germany and Luxembourg.
Open to first-year students. This course has no prerequisites. It fulfills the History Perspective at Clark. At Holy Cross it is approved for the Historical Studies Common Area, the Peace and Conflict Studies concentration, and counts as a European history course toward the History major.

The Science of Fermentation (Chemistry 012) will be taught by Sergio Granados-Focil, Professor of Chemistry. This course, and its proposed field trips, have been designed to take full advantage of Western Europe s rich history and tradition of preserving food and drinks through fermentation. The class will start by covering some general aspects about the fermentation process and then will focus on the application of microorganisms/biomacromolecules to different substrates to generate a wide variety of non-perishable foods, beverages and biomedically relevant substances. This class has a laboratory component where the students will make and characterize a wide variety of fermentation products, such as beer, wine, cheese and vegetables (sauerkraut, etc.). In accordance with University policy, students will not consume alcoholic fermented derivates produced in class and will no be tasting/consuming any alcohol on field trips to breweries and vineyards.
Through the lectures, laboratory experiments and field trips, students will learn the basic principles of experimental design, the importance and need of controlling experimental parameters, rules of proportion and scaling (disguised stoichiometry) and basic chemical concepts such as the difference between a physical mixture and a chemical reaction, solubility, acidity, density, gas laws, etc. The course will also cover topics such as the development of fat-free, lactose-free and low-calorie alternatives as examples of how public demands can affect scientific developments and how commercial research studies are structured, funded and regulated. Field trips are planned within Luxembourg, to Belgium, France and Germany.
This course has no prerequisites and is open to first year students as well. It fulfills the Science Perspective at Clark. At Holy Cross the course fulfills one semester of the natural science core requirement.