Mountains, Livelihoods, and Traditions in the Alps
During this three-week program, experience the best of the Chamonix Region and the Alps. In this program, students will explore the interconnectedness between mountains, livelihoods, and traditions, and how these connections shape certain ethical and political views, as they become visible in various food production systems, conservation agendas, and human values:
- Food production systems - La Ferme des Corbassieres
- Conservation - Bearded Vulture Conservation
- Spiritual aspect of the mountains - Carmel du Reposoir
Students will complete a six-day hike on the famed Tour du Mont Blanc where they will make observations and gain additional knowledge of the natural world and of the impact of human activity.
The program ends with a closing talk from French mountaineer and mountain guide, Patrick Gabarrou. You can listen to Patrick Gabarrou and see Mount Blanc (in the winter) in this short video.
All instruction is in English, and no French is required.
This is a physically rigorous program, which includes hikes at a minimum of 4 hours and up to 6-7 hours per day on mountain trails at altitudes of up to 9,000 ft.
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Students will earn 8 credits. This is an interdisciplinary course, with upper-division UO credit applicable toward a variety of majors. Students should speak with the relevant academic advisor in their major/minor for specific details.
This course has also been approved for Core Education: Arts & Letters and Global Perspectives
This program begins with five days in Chamonix for orientation, classes and preparing for the hike. The next six days will be spent on the trail and moving through the mountains. The planned route may change before or during the program due to scheduling changes, inclement weather, or other factors. After the hike, you will return to Chamonix and spend the remaining 11 days processing your experience on the trail through lectures by local experts and participating in various excursions. Students will pay particular attention to three local examples that highlight the relationship between this alpine landscape and the local community: food and the production of the famous Reblechon cheese, conservation and important reintroduction of the bearded vulture, and spirituality with the visit of one of the oldest monasteries in France.
A note about supplies:
- Students will need to bring a tablet and/or a smart phone with good camera resolution to complete assignments during the program.
- A list of the required hiking gear will be provided to the students participating in the course.
UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.
Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.
All students participating in this program must meet and agree to the following requirements:
- Ability to carry a 12-15 pound day pack while hiking up to 6-7 hours per day on mountain trails at high elevations (up to 9,000 ft.).
- Mandatory participation in four pre-departure meetings in May 2023, which will introduce students to and prepare students for the program and logistics through readings and discussion.
Lodging for this program may include youth hostels, rustic mountain huts along the trail, and hotels.
The mountain huts offer traditional atmosphere of the area and taste of local cuisine. During the hiking portion of this program, rooms may be shared with students of all genders.