Maymester 2023

Where will YOU go? Experience the world by travelling this "Maymester" through our faculty-led short courses.

Costa Rica: Sustainable Tourism Development

a student sitting on a blanket overlooking a valley and mountains in Costa Rica

The UPEI Faculty of Business, in partnership with the Office of Study Abroad and International Collaboration, is offering an exciting international learning opportunity for our students.

We are offering a special topics course Sustainable Business Development: A Tourism Perspective (BUS 3850) in May 2023. The course instructor is Dr. Melissa James, who will accompany students to Costa Rica for 12 days to learn about sustainable tourism development practices and develop strategies for the Prince Edward Island tourism industry. Students will attend a pre-trip orientation class in late April before departure for Costa Rica in early May/late April – subject to flight availability. Upon returning to UPEI, students will present their findings and make recommendations to the PEI tourism industry. (Exact dates are to be determined but the course will run no later than May 31, 2023). There are no prerequisites for the course, but students must apply and be eligible to enrol based on criteria. Enrolment is limited to 20 students.

Maymester in Costa Rica itinerary
Maymester in Costa Rica one-page flyer

Applications are due by November 18 at 4:00 pm. The course instructor and the Office of Study Abroad and International Collaboration will review applications. Students selected to participate will be notified by December 6, 2023.


  • Students cannot graduate in May 2023
  • Students must be completing their first year of studies at UPEI
  • Students must be able to pay a travel deposit by December 9, 2022
  • Students must be taking the course for academic credit
  • Demonstrate an interest in tourism development and sustainable business practices
  • The funding portion of this program is geared to domestic, undergraduate students; however, all students are eligible and welcome to apply


  • Grants will cover the cost of the student program in Costa Rica, including accommodations, program activities, some meals, and ground transportation (approximately 60% of meal costs are covered).
  • Flights are estimated at approximately $2,000; there is a travel grant available to students to offset the cost of the flights valued at $1000.
  • Canadian students are eligible for the part-time study grant with this course.

Complete an application 

The Roots of Western Medicine: The Legacy of Innovators at Padua and Bologna

city of Bologna skyline at dusk

This is an interdisciplinary course in the history of western medicine. It is being taught in the first 2023 summer session as a three-credit (unit), one semester course.

Course instructor Dr. Christian Lacroix’s research highlights relationships between morphologically different plant structures that share similar developmental pathways. His current research interests include leaf complexity in seed-bearing plants, developmental aspects of floral organ identity, and the biology of the Gulf of St. Lawrence Aster. Dr. James Moran’s research explores the intersections of government policy, medicine, health, disease, mental illness, and social history. His current research explores mental illness and civil law in transatlantic context, and the history of 18th Century disease along the St. Lawrence River valley.

Both professors have previously taught courses in the history of science and medicine at UPEI.

This course takes students to Padua and Bologna in Italy to view historic collections at medical universities to gain an appreciation of the foundations that shaped the future of modern western medicine. Many of the roots of our medical knowledge and practices are European in origin. In fact, institutions in Padua and Bologna in Italy, and Montpellier in France, dominated the practice of medicine in the later Middle Ages, and Renaissance periods.  The early days of formal anatomy teaching and hands-on dissections and operations were pioneered as innovative methods at those institutions.  Andreas Vesalius, professor at Padua, was considered “the most outstanding of the innovators” during his time there.  The University of Padua hosted Renaissance visionaries Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei who contributed to the climate of scientific and medical innovation. English physician William Harvey’s revolutionary ideas about blood circulation were also shaped by his education at Padua. The Padua Botanical Gardens were instrumental in the development of medicine at the University and in the region. At the university of Bologna, the anatomical theatre of the Archiginnasio was the focus of dissections and a level of anatomical learning similar to that occurring in Padua.  This dissection room, built in 1637, was destroyed during WWII and painstakingly reconstructed after the war.  Other important sites of medical science in Bologna are the Museum of Palazzo Poggi, where 18th Century collections in human anatomy and obstetrics are located, and the Luigi Cattaneo Anatomical Wax Collection, which houses an extensive 18th and 19th Century collection of wax models of human pathology.

The Renaissance era in medicine led to more accurate and advanced knowledge of the human body and new discoveries (e.g., Fallopian tubes, named after another famous Italian anatomist, Gabriel Fallopius). The legacy of these innovations, available as historical records and anatomical collections, forms the focus of this course. The fieldwork of the course includes guided instructional tours of the Faculties of Medicine (and their historical collections) at the universities of Padua and Bologna in Italy.

In this course students will consider the intersections of medical knowledge and society. Specifically, students will gain an appreciation of the historical contexts within which the practice of western medicine emerged; why the medical innovations of the Renaissance period were controversial at the time that they were being made; how this field evolved over time; and current institutional practices of collecting, identifying, classifying, and preserving specimens and artifacts related to the history of medicine.

Maymester in Padua and Bologna and course information
Application deadline: December 8, 2022

Schedule: (dates to be determined)

  • Early May (6:00–9:00 pm) - Introduction and briefing sessions
  • May, TBD - Site visits in Padua and Bologna / seminar discussions
  • May–June, TBD - Major research project work and submission

For more information about what it's like to participate in Maymester, visit the Maymester 2019 page