Welcome to American Studies!

Field Studies Practicum to Peoria, Illinois learning about the Agricultural Industry in the United States and its contributions to the U.S. economy - IF Class of 2016

What: American Studies is a course that focuses on 11 academic objectives that helps senior international officers obtain a balanced understanding of American culture and society.  These objectives include Human Rights, U.S. Government Institutions, U.S. Political Processes, the U.S. Judicial System, the Free Market Economic System, News and Social Media, the Educational System, the Health and Human Services structure, Law of War, International Peace and Security and Diversity and American Life.The course explores the American perspective on these various systems through an examination of American history and discusses how these institutions are rooted in the U.S. Constitution, have changed over the years, and are still changing and being debated. By studying the complexities of American society, Fellows develop analytic tools they can use to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of certain U.S. institutions and policies.

How:  The American Studies class meets approximately 12 times a semester in a classroom setting on and travels on multiple field practicums each year. The purpose of the field practicums are to apply class objectives at various institutions around the United States. In the past, the program has included visits to companies like Twitter, Ford, and Boeing, and government locations like a U.S. District Court, the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers. In addition to schools, national parks, and non-governmental organization. Fellows experience the diversity and pluralism in American society.

Who: The program is run through the International Student Management Office. Dr. Brittany Bounds is the course director. Faculty members of the colleges and components of NDU lead discussion sections for the course. In addition, a number of U.S. students are selected to participate in the program as American Fellows.   

When: In the summer, American Studies meets three times a week. During the fall and spring semesters, American Studies meets during the NDU elective period. Travel on field practicums occurs approximately twice per semester for four to six days per practicum. Families are allowed on the New York City and Philadelphia trips, and spouses are allowed on several of the other trips.

Why: The objective of the program is to to help Fellow gain a balanced understanding of the United States. its people, government, way of life, and foster joint security cooperation among nations.  By building lifelong relationships, we anticipate that national conflicts can be resolved through the friendships formed in the program. We also hope that International Fellows will gain a deeper understanding of America as a country and society. We also learn about the countries from which the International Fellows come and foster a mutual respect.  

To learn more about American Studies please watch this short video:

American Studies Faculty

Faculty Bios

Class of 2016 Comments on the American Studies Course

“I think American Studies (AS) is a necessary course for several reasons. AS at the beginning program helps newcomers integrate each other, the International Fellows are from different countries with different customs, ways to think, and sometimes with different ways to understand the world. AS helps International Fellows to understand the American way to see the world. At the same time, AS brings closer our friendly ties. The American Studies makes us admire and feel a part of American Culture. In short, in my particular point of view, after this American Studies Course I feel myself an US ambassador.”
“American Studies has shown me the real and diverse society that forms the U.S. and therefore the way of thinking and making decision especially from the strategic leaders’ standpoint which is very relevant and vital to my future career. Indeed, I do believe that I will be able to make our leadership understand why the U.S. leadership would have made any decision in the future and it's important because before coming here, it was very hard to understand some reactions or actions made by the U.S.”
“I feel the program is almost 50% of my total experience at NDU. The course won't be the same for the IFs without a program like this.”
“This is a great program, incomparable to any other program on this subject known to me. Field Practicums make the experience holistic. Now I know more about America, and know how to track changes and update myself on American issues.”