Experiential learning is a process in which students are fully immersed in well-planned, supervised, and assessed hands-on experiences outside the classroom in order to learn through discovery and exploration. Experiential learning opportunities promote interdisciplinary learning, cultural awareness, language gain through focused reflection and interpretation of values, and the development of organizational and leadership skills. Experiential learning and active engagement is also one of the goals expressed in the University’s Strategic Plan which calls for more and better “opportunities for students to engage in faculty-supervised research and creative work … and other beyond-the-classroom learning experience,” 1
"Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the Northwestern undergraduate education ... the opportunity to put classroom course work and academic theory into practice solidifies the learning experience."2
For this reason, the Department of German has designed a new two-quarter program for undergraduate students to engage in guided, supervised research in the Humanities combining the active use of a foreign language with research in cultural, political, and historical subject areas. The program is called Exploring Hamburg: Experiential learning through supervised research. This website contains a description of this pedagogical innovation and showcases the results of eleven student-initiated research projects.
Exploring Hamburg: Experiential learning through supervised research is funded through Northwestern University and a number of outside organizations.