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Main Campus · University College · Interdisciplinary Studies Ctr

WDYKA: Lessons in Travel

  • Fall 2020
  • Section LJ9
  • 2 Credits
  • 08/12/2020 to 12/05/2020
  • Modified 08/09/2020


Selected topics and themes posing a question addressed using the tools and assumptions of a variety of disciplines.




Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. John Upson

Office Hours

  • Tuesday, Thursday, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Tuesday, Thursday, 1:30 PM to 2:00 PM
  • Thursday, 3:30 AM to 4:30 AM

Meeting Times

Class Sessions

  • 8:50-9:40am
  • Humanities 209

Attendance:  For your scheduled Face-to-Face sessions this semester, the expectation is that you attend and participate.  However, attendance will not be taken for the purpose of assigning grades and all course content will be available online.

Privacy: Face-to-face class sessions may be video taped or photographed. 


Lonely Planet travel guide

Students will purchase a Lonely Planet travel guide for their preferred country


It is expected that upon completion of this course, you have achieved the following outcomes:

  • Gained familiarity with the UWG campus and the routines necessary to achieve graduation
  • Gained competency in travel planning
  • Understand the learning opportunities that travel presents
  • Understand how travel relates to both business and society




Percentage of Semester GRADE

First year seminar lab 20%
Career Reflection 8%
Study Skills 4%
Advising 4%
Growth Mindset 4%
Course content 80%
Participation 20%
Homework 30%
Final presentation 20%
Final quiz 10%

The final grade for this course will be assigned on the basis of the grade weights  in the above table. There is no adjustment for trends over time (either positively or negatively). I round grades to the tenth of a point as displayed below.



Resulting grade and related performance levels
Grade Range Notes
A 90.0 to 100
B 80.0 to 89.9
C 70.0 to 79.9
D 60.0 to 69.9
F 0.0 to 59.9


First Year Seminar Lab

As part of this  course, you will perform several activities with the First Year Seminar Lab. This portion of the course will be assessed and graded by the FYS Lab Liason assigned to this course. Below is a general list of activities a due dates. More detailed information can be found at the lab Courseden site.

Activity / Due Date

Mindset 1 /  FR 9/4 at 11:59pm

Advising /  FR 9/25 at 11:59pm

Career Reflection /  FR 10/30 at 11:59pm

Study Skills /  FR 11/20 at 11:59pm

Mindset 2 /  FR 11/20 at 11:50pm

Week 1: Introduction

___ Download the syllabus from Courseden and review

Watch the following videos on Courseden:

___ Backpacking Europe! (note the low-budget meals, transportation, youth hostel, and the pace of travel)

___ Solo Backpacking Europe Trip - 10 Countries, 2 Months (mainly visuals but this guy is good with a camera)

___ How to Travel Europe on $1,000 / Month (great tips for budget travelers)

Week 2: The destination

___ Purchase a Lonely Planet travel book for your destination country

___ Identify 5 interesting world facts that will blow the class away and be ready to discuss them to the class

Complete the following cell in your Travel Plan in Google Docs:

___Destination Country: Record the country you intend to travel to and be prepared to discuss in class your interest in this country.

Watch the following videos on Courseden:

___ 31 Insanely Affordable Budget Travel Destinations to Visit Now

___ Top 10 African Countries to Visit for vacation

Week 3: Getting there and away

___ If you have not done so, purchase a Lonely Planet travel book for your destination country

___ Read the “Transport” section in back of your Lonely Planet book.

Read the following articles on Courseden:

___ Travel on a Budget – NY

___ Travel on a Budget – Italy

 Complete the following cells in your Travel Plan in Google Docs:

___Travelers: Identify the person traveling with you

___Destination cities: Record the four cities that you intend to visit in your destination country. Two of these cities might be your arrival and departure cities, but they do not have to be.

___The appeal: Record your thoughts on why the country and cities appeal to you.

___Flight: Find and record an affordable flight based on the parameters given in the Flight cell of the Travel Plan.

___Target Budget: Your Lonely Planet book has a section in the front titled “Need to Know.” In that section it defines the expected daily costs in-country as budget, mid-range, or top end. Choose either the budget or mid-range option as your target daily budget. Then, calculate your overall budget based on the number of travel days.  

Week 4: Culture and history

___ Identify the photo in your Lonely Planet book that caused you the most emotion (good or bad)

___ Read the Culture and History sections of your Lonely Planet and highlight

Complete the following cells in your Travel Plan in Google Docs:

___ Relevant history: Learn basic greetings in the language of your destination country. Provide at least 300 words.

___Behavior and mannerisms: Identify unique behaviors and how you intend to deal with these. Provide at least 300 words.

Watch the following videos on Courseden or find your own cultural videos and be prepared to discuss them in class:

___ Vietnam - Culture and Faces

___ 11 Things NOT to do in Dubai

___ 7 Differences Between American And Brazilian Culture

Week 5: In-country activities

Watch the following videos on Courseden:

___ 14 Things to do before International Travel

___ Travel Tips for Your First International Trip

___ Review the U.S. State Department Traveler's Checklist (link on Courseden)

Complete the following cells in your Travel Plan in Google Docs:  

___ Activities: provide a brief overview of the major activities of your trip

___ Itinerary: This is a large section. In it, create a rough draft of your trip. Provide a short summary of major activities in the Highlights cell. Then, for the 17 days, identify the daily major in-country activities, transportation, costs, and time allocations.

Week 6: Housing and meals

Watch the following videos on Courseden:

___ Backpacking Tips: How to pick a good hostel

___ Everything you need to know about staying at a hostel

Complete the following cell in your Travel Plan in Google Docs:  

___ Housing & meals: Identify where you will stay and the most interesting dishes you plan to eat.  Add this information to your 17-day itinerary. For the travel itinerary section, you can simply identify the location and approximant costs of your meals, not the specific dish.   

Week 7: Passport and visa

Watch the following video on Courseden:

___ How to Apply for a US Passport 2020

Complete the following cells of your Travel Plan:

___ Passport & visa

___ Visa process

___ Visa cost

Week 8: Money and communication

___ Select an international phone plan and provide plan details  

___ Identify the best texting apps to use in-country  

Complete the following cell in your Travel Plan in Google Docs:  

___ Money

___ Communication

___ Essential phrases: state how to say them in the local language. If your destination is an English-speaking country, then learn these in any language of your choice.

Week 9: Health and safety

___ Review the Health section in your Lonely Planet

___ Review the Safety section in your Lonely Planet

___ Review the U.S. State Department site for safety info (link on Courseden)

___ Watch one movie recommended in your Lonely Planet and submit a 300-word summary to Courseden dropbox

Watch the following video on Courseden:

___ Essential Travel Safety Tips

Complete the following cells of your Travel Plan:

___ Vaccines

___ Health & safety

___ Hospital locations

___ Other concerns (optional)

Week 10: Packing

___ Update on your daily itinerary in your Travel Plan that you made in week 5

___ Review the handout “Thoughts on What to Bring” posted on Courseden

Watch the following videos on Courseden:

___ What to Pack For 3-6 Months Travel In South East Asia (a female perspective)

___ How to Pack for an Endless Backpacking Trip Around the World (a male perspective)

Review the contents of this document (link on Courseden):

___ The Ultimate Travel Packing List

Complete the following cell in your Travel Plan in Google Docs:  

___ Luggage type

___ Luggage contents: Make a detailed packing list of everything you will carry on your trip

Week 11: Travel issues

___ Review your travel plan and identify ways to cut costs

Week 12: In-country resources for businesses

___ Review the “Kiss, bow, or Shake Hands” document for your respective country posted on Courseden

___ Find and review three Youtube videos about doing business as a foreigner in your destination country

Week 13: Present your plan 1

Half the students will present their travel plans

Week 14: Present your plan 2

The other half of students will present their travel plans

Week 15: Summary & final exam

Final quiz and semester wrap-up


Adhering to COVID protocol, this class will be divided into two cohorts (A and B). The first class session is on a TH, therefore, cohort A will meet face-to-face on THs and work on online assignments on TUs. Cohort B will meet face-to-face on TUs and work on online assignments on THs. As you view the semester schedule, please keep in mind your assigned cohort.   

Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
F2F Class: A(8/13) B(8/18)
Week 1
Humanities 209

Have completed all Week 1 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 2: A(8/20) B(8/25)
Humanities 209
The destination

Have completed all Week 2 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 3: A(8/27) B(9/1)
Humanities 209
Getting there and away

Have completed all Week 3 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 4: A(9/3) B(9/8)
Humanities 209
Culture and history

Have completed all Week 4 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 5: A(9/10) B(9/15)
Humanities 209
In-country activities

Have completed all Week 5 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 6: A(9/17) B(9/22)
Humanities 209
Housing and meals

Have completed all Week 6 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 7: A(9/24) B(9/29)
Humanities 209
Passport and visa

Have completed all Week 7 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 8: A(10/1) B(10/6)
Humanities 209
Money and communication

Have completed all Week 8 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 9: A(10/8) B(10/13)
Humanities 209
Health and safety

Have completed all Week 9 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 10: A(10/15) B(10/20)
Humanities 209

Have completed all Week 10 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 11: A(10/22) B(10/27)
Humanities 209
Travel issues

Have completed all Week 11 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 12: A(10/29) B(11/3)
Humanities 209
In-country resources for businesses

Have completed all Week 12 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 13: A(11/5) B(11/10)
Humanities 209
Present your plan 1

Have completed all Week 13 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 14: A(11/12) B(11/17)
Humanities 209
Present your plan 2

Have completed all Week 14 assignments prior to class.

F2F Class
Week 15: A(11/19) B(11/24)
Humanities 209
Summary and final exam

Have completed all Week 15 assignments prior to class.

Course Policies and Resources

General Course Policies

  • Indicate your section and full name on all assignments and presentations, even those submitted through email/Courseden.
  • Email is a common mode of business communication, yet many emails are far too informal for business communication (i.e., unpunctuated, sloppily written, and using greetings such as ‘Hey’). Because of this, all email correspondence must be of professional quality (see document posted in the START HERE folder of Courseden).
  • It is the student’s responsibility to access all content posted on Courseden and emailed to the student.
  • Unforeseen changes in the syllabus and assignments will be announced in email.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to regularly check their UWG email.
  • Missing the first graded assignments is grounds for being dropped from the course.


No late assignment will be accepted unless the student notifies the professor in advance or, in the event of an unforeseen emergency, immediately after the assignment was due and provides a legitimate reason (as determined by the instructor). The instructor follows university policy regarding approved absences and late submissions with university-accepted reasons including, but not limited to, illness and travel for university-sponsored teams or events.

Syllabus Changes

This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the syllabus plan as necessary. Changes will be announced through UWG email.

Course Communication & Grading

Instructor response time to email is 24–48 hours M–F. There may be delays on weekends and holidays. Students should not expect a response during non-business hours, which includes nights, weekends, holidays, and school breaks. Grades for activities and assignments will be posted within 5–7 days in Courseden. However, some grading may take longer depending upon the assignment. Students will be notified if an assignment’s grade will not be posted within the 5–7 day window.


If you feel your grade on an assignment is inaccurate, you are encouraged to return the assignment or exam for re-grading. Please employ the following process: Type all comments on another sheet and turn it in to me within three days of the assignment’s return to you. Your request for re-grading must clearly indicate why you believe you deserve a higher grade. I will not discuss the problem with you until it is put into a written request. Reviews can lead to either an increase or decrease in total points.

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Carefully review the information at the link below. It contains important material pertaining to your rights and responsibilities in this class. Because these statements are updated as federal, state, university, and accreditation standards change, you should review this information each semester. Information available through this link includes policies regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, UWG e-mail, credit hours, and the honor code.

Institutional Policies

Academic Support

Accessibility Services: Students with a documented disability may work with UWG Accessibility Services to receive essential services specific to their disability. All entitlements to accommodations are based on documentation and USG Board of Regents standards. If a student needs course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if he/she needs to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, the student should notify his/her instructor in writing and provide a copy of his/her Student Accommodations Report (SAR), which is available only from Accessibility Services. Faculty cannot offer accommodations without timely receipt of the SAR; further, no retroactive accommodations will be given. For more information, please contact Accessibility Services.

Center for Academic Success: The Center for Academic Success provides services, programs, and opportunities to help all undergraduate students succeed academically. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6280 or [email protected]

University Writing Center: The University Writing Center assists students with all areas of the writing process. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6513 or [email protected]

Online Courses

UWG takes students’ privacy concerns seriously: technology-enhanced and partially and fully online courses use sites and entities beyond UWG and students have the right to know the privacy policies of these entities. For more information on privacy and accessibility for the most commonly used sites, as well as technology requirements visit the UWG Online site.

Students enrolled in online courses can find answers to many of their questions in the Online/Off-Campus Student Guide.

If a student is experiencing distress and needs help, please see the resources available at the UWG Cares site. Online counseling is also available for online students.

Honor Code

At the University of West Georgia, we believe that academic and personal integrity are based upon honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Students at West Georgia assume responsibility for upholding the honor code. West Georgia students pledge to refrain from engaging in acts that do not maintain academic and personal integrity. These include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, aid of academic dishonesty, lying, bribery or threats, and stealing. 

The University of West Georgia maintains and monitors a confidential Academic Dishonesty Tracking System. This database collects and reports patterns of repeated student violations across all the Colleges, the Ingram Library, and the School of Nursing. Each incidence of academic dishonesty is subject to review and consideration by the instructor, and is subject to a range of academic penalties including, but not limited to, failing the assignment and/or failing the course. Student conduct sanctions range from verbal warning to suspension or expulsion depending on the magnitude of the offense and/or number of offenses. The incident becomes part of the student’s conduct record at UWG.

Additionally, the student is responsible for safeguarding his/her computer account. The student’s account and network connection are for his/her individual use. A computer account is to be used only by the person to whom it has been issued. The student is responsible for all actions originating through his/her account or network connection. Students must not impersonate others or misrepresent or conceal their identities in electronic messages and actions. For more information on the University of West Georgia Honor Code, please see the Student Handbook.

UWG Email Policy

University of West Georgia students are provided a MyUWG e-mail account. The University considers this account to be an official means of communication between the University and the student. The purpose of the official use of the student e-mail account is to provide an effective means of communicating important university related information to UWG students in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her email.

Credit Hour Policy

The University of West Georgia grants one semester hour of credit for work equivalent to a minimum of one hour (50 minutes) of in-class or other direct faculty instruction AND two hours of student work outside of class per week for approximately fifteen weeks. For each course, the course syllabus will document the amount of in-class (or other direct faculty instruction) and out-of-class work required to earn the credit hour(s) assigned to the course. Out-of-class work will include all forms of credit-bearing activity, including but not limited to assignments, readings, observations, and musical practice. Where available, the university grants academic credit for students who verify via competency-based testing, that they have accomplished the learning outcomes associated with a course that would normally meet the requirements outlined above (e.g. AP credit, CLEP, and departmental exams).

HB 280 (Campus Carry)

UWG follows University System of Georgia (USG) guidance:

You may also visit our website for help with USG Guidance:

Mental Health Support

If you or another student find that you are experiencing a mental health issue, free confidential services are available on campus in the Counseling Center. Students who have experienced sexual or domestic violence may receive confidential medical and advocacy services with the Patient Advocates in Health Services. To report a concern anonymously, please go to UWGcares.

ELL Resources

If you are a student having difficulty with English language skills, and / or U.S. culture is not your home culture, specialized resources are available to help you succeed. Please visit the E.L.L. resource page for more information.


Proctored Exams/Online Instruction: Students should be aware and plan ahead for the possibility of having to complete all courses and/or exams online or in a proctored environment. This means talking with your instructors about what minimum technical requirements (software and hardware) will be required should your class move online or a student's personal needs dictate. This also includes making plans for internet access at whatever location participation may occur.

Virtual or in-person proctored exams, if your instructor should require them, may result in an additional cost to the student. Please discuss these details with your instructor or see the information provided here.

Face Coverings: Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia institutions, including the University of West Georgia, will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met. Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

Student FAQs: For more information about UWG COVID-19 guidance for students visit the Student FAQ webpage


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