Academic Programs Overview
Orientation takes place during the first few days of every program. The extensive orientation is conducted by the Resident Director. Material covered includes program philosophy and organization, health and safety issues, the process of entering into and learning from another culture, academic and personal expectations, and means of academic evaluation.
Lexia’s semester curriculum progresses from a highly structured learning environment to an independent course of study. Students are supported by instructors throughout. Students take four courses each semester for credit. These generally include the field research project, language course, research methods seminar, and area studies and culture seminar.
Academic Year Programs
Students may wish to focus more in depth on their particular interest at the same site and gain a deeper understanding of the host country. In this case, students may stay at the same site and continue their language training and Field Research Project during the second semester. These students would also typically select two electives or tutorial courses to round out the coursework during the second semester.
"I loved the independent aspect of my program, also really really liked my adviser. I liked that we were able to decide almost every aspect of our field research project – from its subject, method, work pace, etc. It was a great experiment in self directed work."
Another option for students who wish to spend more time abroad is to spend their second semester in another Lexia program site. This allows Lexia students the opportunity to compare a topic or theme across cultures. Students generally follow the semester-long academic program at the second site.
Lexia has developed five-week summer programs that follow an abbreviated version of the semester curriculum. Lexia’s summer programs typically offer a language course and a course on area studies, visual culture, architecture, classical studies, or journalism. Additionally, we have unveiled three new photography programs that are offered exclusively in the summer, and are coupled with a course in local art history. Of the summer programs, Visual Culture, Photography and Architecture programs include hands-on field work. Students who are interested in completing a research project during any of these summer programs may be accommodated.
Every academic program includes integrated one- or multi-day excursions around or immediately surrounding host city. These excursions help introduce students to the larger cultural region of the site as well as to make meaningful comparisons with other sites. All Lexia program excursions are covered by the program fee. The program staff will also inform students of cultural events and independent travel opportunities available to them outside the program context.
Review and Evaluations
All program components enable students to progressively gain greater language proficiency, further their understanding of the people and institutions of a different culture, and advance research and critical thinking skills. Evaluation of academic performance provides students with continual supportive feedback and an opportunity to be actively involved in assessing their own progress. Students meet periodically with the Resident Director throughout the program to review individual achievements, and time is allotted at the end of each program to assess the total educational experience. The Resident Director is responsible for working with each student to identify his/her learning objectives for the semester, to establish and implement academic requirements, and to provide Lexia with a complete evaluation of the student’s academic performance as it relates to the stated objectives and requirements.
Faculty Instruction and Local Facilities
Lexia carefully screens its local staff and partner institutions. In each of our program sites, we only work with the highest quality academic institutions that are invested in the history and future of the city. Likewise, our local staff are either native to their site or are long-term residents. Their long history with the location offers them unique insights as well as a wide array of local contacts across industries, both of which they are able to pass on to our students to enhance the overall academic and cultural experience.