International & Indigenous Course Modules

Students stand in a garden lined with logs in the earth

Spend Reading Week Travelling & Learning

International & Indigenous Course Modules are a great way to enhance your course learning by participating in an international or Indigenous experience. In each 0.5 or 1.0 credit IICM course, a small number of students can travel outside Toronto for immersive, course-related, faculty-led experiences during either the Fall or Winter Reading Week. The Faculty of Arts & Science covers travel and living expenses for students and faculty.

Benefits of International & Indigenous Course Modules (IICM)

As an IICM student, you can: 

  • Strengthen your ability to draw connections between theoretical course concepts and your IICM experience
  • Gain a deeper understanding of complex concepts, ideas, information and perspectives 
  • Gain meaningful experiences that can help with your applications for jobs, graduate studies, professional faculties and volunteer roles
  • Bond with fellow students and instructors and build a stronger network of professional support

Who is Eligible to Participate?

IICMs are open to students in any year, but you are limited to the courses that offer an IICM component. To be eligible, you should be:

  • A full-time undergraduate degree student in the Faculty of Arts & Science — St. George campus  (exchange or non-degree students are not eligible to receive IICM funding)
  • In good academic standing
  • Enrolled in the course the IICM is part of 

Is There an Additional Cost? 

IICMs are covered through your regular tuition fees. Each student selected to travel during Reading Week is asked to pay $200 (which can be raised through group fundraising events) to help offset travel costs. 

IICM Courses

Course & Instructor Location Travel Dates Description

AMS310H1: Approaches to American Studies

Professor: Leah Montange

San Diego & Los Angeles, USA

Reading week, Winter 2024

The United States, as a global military, cultural and economic power, is a transnational space. This class will study Transnational America through an exploration of Southern California. 

This International Course Module will invite students into a range of field experiences related to the US-Mexico border, migration, global logistics, and the US military in and around San Diego and Los Angeles, California. These experiences will include site visits, interviews, walking tours, museum visits, guest lectures, and more. Students will integrate their field work with secondary sources to produce an independent research project.

ESS223H - Earth Materials & ESS445H - Global Tectonics

Professor: Grant Henderson and Russell Pysklywec

Central Turkey (Cappadocia, Nevsehir, Goreme—A UNESCO Geological World Heritage Site), Istanbul Reading week, Fall 2023

Anatolia has a fascinating geologic history of active and past tectonics. It is situated at the ancient Tethyan plate boundary that finished closure with the collision of the Himalayan system further to the east. 
In visiting the areas around Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, students will explore complex regions of major volcanism, seismicity, tectonic structure, and geothermal activity. This remarkable geologic diversity makes it an ideal location to study minerals, rocks, and tectonics. At the same time, the geological intrigue of Anatolia is reflected in the cultural and historical complexity of Turkey. As the meeting place of continents and civilizations, the area represents one of the unique regions of the world to understand human socio-economic development, conflict, and interaction from antiquity to the present day.

The IICM trip allows students to observe a wide range of geologic features and discuss active geologic processes, with direct observation at specific field locations. Seeing places like Turkey, during this module, illustrate how anthropogenic factors are influenced by the geologic activity of Anatolia.

ESS423H - Mineral Deposits & ESS322H - Igneous Petrology

Professor: Daniel Gregory and Corliss Kin I Sio

Chile Reading week, Winter 2024

Both courses are broadly categorized in the theme of Earth Materials in our undergraduate curriculum. ESS 322 Igneous Petrology introduces students to the origin and the diversity of rocks that form from magmas. ESS423 Mineral Deposits focuses on the mineralogy and petrology of ore deposits and builds a basic scientific framework for understanding the origin and distribution of mineral deposits on planet Earth. 

The IICM trip to Chile offers a wide variety of hand-on experiences for the students to understand the geologic context and significance of important lithologic units. More importantly, this trip fosters students’ curiosity in natural rocks and makes them aware of the skills necessary in their careers as geologists. The sites include some of the most important ore deposits in the world. Unlike in any classroom, examining these at the deposit scale allows a more comprehensive understanding of how they formed and how to identify similar deposits. 

Further, Chile is dominated by subduction tectonics and the igneous rocks there (which are of the rocks found in subduction zones). This makes a great opportunity to visit the large-scale outcrops and geological structures produced in these environments. 

LAS350H1: Indigenous Realities in Latin America

Professor: Victor Rivas

Peru Reading week, Fall 2023 This course focuses on the realities of the diverse Indigenous societies particular to the regions we now call Latin America. As a global classroom, the course will allow all students to directly connect and actively engage with Indigenous knowledge holders and peer student groups from an Indigenous community in Peru through 12 weeks of synchronous online sessions. The IICM will provide the selected students with the opportunity to not only travel to the same community, but to also engage in activities with peers and community members to learn more about the community’s language, culture, history, politics, and economy through hands-on experiences.

LIN303H - Introduction to Indigenous Languages of the Americas

Professor: Pedro Mateo Pedro

Guatemala IICM trip cancelled for 2023 Students will participate in a cultural and linguistic exchange in Kaqchikel with the Kaqchikel University, Wuqu’ Kawoq/Mayan Health Alliance, and elementary school Maya Aj Sya’ in Patzún, Guatemala. Based on interviews and elicitations on the sound system of Kaqchikel, students will develop a research paper either on the documentation and revitalization of Mayan languages in Guatemala or the sound system of Kaqchikel. In addition to working on their research, students will also participate in a two-day intensive course in Kaqchikel. It is an immersion program for the revitalization of Mayan languages in Guatemala, designed to increase knowledge of the language among community members.

HMB 226H - Indigenous Holistic Health

Professor: Melanie Jeffrey

Six Nations Reserve, Ontario  May 2024 What are the intersections between biology and holistic health in an Indigenous framework? This course will examine relationships between western biomedical science and Indigenous holistic health. In visiting the community of Six Nations with local educators and Elders, a three-day IICM field trip to the Indigenous community of Six Nations of the Grand River will include experiential learning in a Haudenosaunee community-directed research process and culturally based teachings about medicines, residential school, and community-articulated concerns.   

POL359H - Enlarging Europe: The European Union and Its Applicants

Professor: Robert Austin

Georgia IICM trip canceled in 2023-24

In this IICM trip, students will examine the consequences and potential of enlargement and deeper integration for the European Union (EU). The course emphasizes the impact that integration, and the prospect of integration, has on the potential member states and the countries bordering the EU.
One of the most significant aspects of the EU’s foreign relations is the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Through these initiatives, students can gain insight into ways the EU seeks to promote stability and prosperity within neighboring states in accordance with its fundamental values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. 

SMC185H - SMC One: The Gilson Seminar in Faith and Ideas

Professor: Reid Locklin

Sault Ste. Marie Reading week, Fall 2023

In this seminar course, students will have the opportunity to take part in a study trip at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, in Sault Ste. Marie, during the fall reading week. The trip incorporates a tour of the Shingwauk school site, original archival research related to Shingwauk (Anglican) and the nearby residential schools in Spanish, Ontario (Catholic), and a panel of residential school survivors and intergenerational survivors. Through contacts in the community and partnership with the Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, the Shingwauk Centre will also facilitate land-based educational experiences for the student researchers.

Course Instructor Location
ANT319H1S - North American Archaeology Katherine Patton New Mexico
CAS400Y1Y - Capstone Seminar – Critical Perspectives on Asian Modernity Rachel Silvey Singapore
CRI427H1S - Organized Crime and Corruption Matthew Light Mexico City
ESS221H1F - Minerals and Rocks Grant Henderson and Russell Pysklywec Central Turkey (Cappadocia, Nevsehir, Goreme—A UNESCO Geological World Heritage Site), Istanbul
ESS222H1S - Petrology and ESS423H1S - Mineral Deposits Xu Chu and Daniel Gregory South Africa
HMB323H1S - Global Health Research Helen Dimaras and Maria Papaconstantinou Athens, Greece 
HMB440H1S - Dementia Franco Taverna The Netherlands
POL359Y1Y - Enlarging Europe: The European Union and its Applicants Robert Austin Tbilisi and Signagi, Georgia

Dates and Application Process

Before the IICM Reading Week travel period, you will need to do the following: 

  • Attend orientation sessions with your professor and U of T staff 
  • Complete Safety Abroad requirements if travelling outside of Canada 
  • Prepare travel documents as required, well in advance. You are responsible to ensure you have valid travel documents, such as a passport and visa, to enter and exit the destination. The costs associated with travel document applications are not funded by the University. Contact the PIP office ( if you need a supporting document for your travel document application.  
  • Complete immunizations as required. Complete immunizations and travel documents as required. Check whether there are required and recommended vaccinations on the Government of Canada Travel Vaccinations page. You should also check with a health care provider as soon as possible regarding vaccinations or other health concerns. Vaccinations are not funded by the University.

Starting mid-June, check this website for a list of courses that have an IICM component. You can then apply to these courses during course enrolment in July.

In some courses, there might be an additional IICM application. The course instructor will share those details in the class. 

Priority will be given to students who have not received funding from the Faculty of Arts & Science for an international experience previously, including IICMs, 398 Research Excursions, and the Dean's International/Indigenous Initiatives Fund, due to limited funding.

If you require accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services and the Experiential Learning and Outreach Support office ( well in advance of the trip to identify and develop any necessary accommodations. 

IICM participation should not impact your progress or ability to meet deadlines in other courses. 

Please contact the Office of Experiential Learning and Outreach Support ( if you have any questions. 

IICMs in the News

A group of students and teachers sitting outdoors at a residential school site

As part of IICM's St. Michael's College seminar course Christianity, Truth and Reconciliation, students had the opportunitiy to visit a former residential school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Throughout the trip, these students received archival training from staff, met with residential school survivors and engaged in a variety of activities that celebrate Indigenous culture and communities. Students described this experience as "one of the most reflective and insightful learning experiences ever." 

Read more about their experience: 'A rare and deeply impactful experience': Students learn about residential schools and their legacy

Student in Yasuni National Park

In the Diversity of Amphibians and Reptiles IICM course, Professor Luke Mahler took 14 U of T students to Yasuni National Park in northern Ecuador to spot and study inhabitants of the rainforest. For these students, seeing the bright blue eyes of a rarely seen banded tree anole lizard staring down at them was unforgettable. They also met members of the Huaorani tribe (an especially reclusive community), saw a dwarf caiman (like an alligator) swimming in the Tiputini River and explored the ecosystem of the Andean cloud forest — something few people in the world get to do. 

Read more about their experience: Exploring rainforest trails and career paths in Ecuador

A group of student on a grassy field learning to play stickball

Students in the Indigenous Holistic Health IICM taught by Melanie Jeffrey learned from Indigenous Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers. They explored the topics of plants as medicine, the connection of ceremony to mental health and the role of traditional practices and physical activity in wellness. The group went on a field trip to a cultural teaching and learning facility run by Six Nations of the Grand, called Chiefswoods Park, where the students deepend their understanding of Indigenous history, plant ecology, medicinal plants and agriculture. And the students learned to play historic traditional games including stickball.

Read more about their experience: Indigenous holistic health course a “transformative experience” for both students and instructor