Orientation Presentation & Blog

(20%) – Each student, having formed into a group of 4 and chosen an itinerary location, will research, prepare and present on that place upon arriving there. The presentation should be 15-20 minutes (with 10 mins or so of questions to follow). The purpose is to provide an overview of and orientation to the city. These should not be dry reiterations of basic data but rather useful, engaging introductions highlighting the interesting and important things our group will want to know about this place and what to look for (as we discussed in pre-session meetings). As a scholarly assignment it should be well researched but you can also be fun, creative, outside the box! Keep in mind where we are staying and what we are doing during our stay in that location (i.e. consult itinerary).

You should accompany your presentation with a one-page handout that is thoughtfully designed and useful (i.e. worth the use of paper). This will likely have a useful map and some key interesting / relevant facts. Make 32 copies in total. 

Your orientation ‘handout’ can also be posted on the Field School Website, including hot links in the Northern Europe Orientation section. We’ll get everyone set up with passwords and give a quick orientation to the site during the first week of  classes.

Finally, your group will contribute to the ongoing field school blog, collecting feedback from other students and posting a written description, photos, videos, links etc. corresponding to your itinerary location. How to post blog entries will be discussed in class.

Here are some questions you can consider in your orientation but basically think: what is important and interesting to know about this place?

  • background: Key phrases in the local language (how do you say “thank you”, “hello”, “excuse me”, “where is the bathroom?” etc.); cultural do’s and don’ts
  • basic orientation: how is the city laid out? what landmarks will help us navigate? where is our hostel relative to other important places in the city? Make sure you check our itinerary to see what we will be doing in that location and how will we get there?  what services are around our hostel? - good food locations, laundry, entertainment?  what are must-see’s when we get some spare time? (keep sustainability theme in mind)
  • relevant physical geographic context: where is this city? what are the most salient physical geographic characteristics? what are the implications of the city’s geography? how is it relevant to us / what will we notice about its physical geography?
  • relevant historic / cultural / social geographic context: how did this city come to be?  (note: avoid a chronological description rather highlight key events / factors in its history that are relevant today (and how))? what are the unique cultural elements of the city (art, music, pop-culture, literature, cuisine, architecture etc.), influential individuals and other phenomena associated with the city? is there anything interesting about the demographic and economic characteristics of this place? (avoid de-contextualized statistics, rather highlight the important and interesting social dynamics of the city and their implications) basically, what should we know about the human geography of this city?

Groups will present as follows:

  1. May 21 Reykjavik –Hazen, Lauren C., Nalin, Suvy
  2. May 25 Stockholm – Chip, Ginny, Mitch, Nina
  3. May 28 Malmö / Lund – Ciara, Mark, meg n., Meghan R.
  4. May 31 Copenhagen – Lauren T., Matt, Megan S., Morgan M.
  5. Jun 4 Hamburg – Alicia, Annina, Madison, Sara
  6. Jun 6 Berlin – Evan, Graham, Morgan H., Sophie
  7. Jun 11 Amsterdam – Bethany, Ilona, Lindsay, Zac