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  • Locations: Bordeaux, France
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Much of what we understand, or think we understand, about the evolution of modern humans is framed by the history of discovery in western Eurasia, where the tradition of research is the longest and historically considered the most personal. But as the perspective of Paleolithic research broadens to include viewpoints and increasingly spectacular discoveries from outside of Europe, the classic narrative of transition from primitive to modern, from Middle to Upper Paleolithic, must be reevaluated within a new context.

This undergraduate course, suitable for both majors and non-majors, will address the question of what makes us human through an exploration of the replacement of Neandertals in western Eurasia by anatomically modern humans, and what has traditionally been interpreted (and reinterpreted) as the “flowering” of modernity in the European Upper Paleolithic. Our syllabus and itinerary will take us to the heart of southwest France, styled “the capital of prehistory,” where dozens of the most celebrated classic Middle and Upper Paleolithic sites are concentrated. As we evaluate the available evidence (and its limitations), we will also investigate the history of scientific and popular thought about the nature of humanity, and how it has reflected changes in broader societal attitudes over time.

Students who have learned successfully in this class will improve their understanding and practice of: scientific communication (reading scientific articles, writing scientifically, and presenting information orally); analytical skills (critically evaluating scientific hypotheses, data, and conclusions); and research (the nature of archaeological fieldwork and analysis). ANTH 361U is part of the Interpreting the Past cluster and fulfills the social science requirement at PSU.

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Faculty Leader Melanie Chang
Portland State University
Travel Dates June 22 - July 10, 2020*

*these dates are tentative and subject to change
Areas of Study This program is open to students from all majors with an interest Anthropology, but is especially relevant for the following majors:
  • Anthropology
  • European Studies
  • History
Course & Credit ANTH 361U: European Prehistory (Middle to Upper Paleolithic Transition in Europe)
4 credits

This course is part of the "Interpreting the Past" Junior cluster at PSU and fulfills a major requirement in the Anthropology Department
Language of Instruction  English
Host Country Language  French*

*Knowledge of French is not required to participate in this program
Housing TBD
Class Standing Eligibility
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
  • Postbaccalaureate 
Preference is given to degree-seeking PSU students.
Minimum GPA Requirements Undergraduate: 2.75

Must be in Satisfactory Academic Standing.
Pre-Requisites None. Recommended courses: ANTH 102, ANTH 350
  • The program itinerary may include an easy-to-moderate hike.
  • This program includes extensive walking across potentially uneven walkways throughout the city.
If you have any questions or concerns about your ability to fully participate in this program, please contact the Education Abroad Advisor responsible for this program. 
Application Process
(PSU Students)
  • $50 Application Fee
  • Unofficial Transcript (from banweb)
  • 2 short essays
  • 1 Recommendation Form (submitted electronically via VikingsAbroad)
    • This is not a formal letter of recommendation, rather your recommender will need to fill out a short questionnaire about you with space for comments. 
    • This cannot be submitted by the program leader
    • These must be Professional or Academic in nature
  • Interview
TBD Fall 2019
  • 4 undergraduate Credits
  • Accommodations
  • Field Trips & Excursions
  • Guest Speakers
  • Transportation Passes for the duration of the program
  • Cultural activities
  • Education Abroad Service Fee
  • International Health Insurance

*Please note, all students enrolling for PSU credit are charged the PSU Rec Center Fee. For a current listing, please refer to PSU Fees.

*Application Fee: All applications include a $50 non-refundable fee due on the application deadline. Students who do not intend to complete a program application are required to withdraw before the deadline, otherwise, the $50 application fee will be assessed to the students' account. 


This program is currently not accepting applications.