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  • Locations: Des Moines, Iowa, United States;
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Restrictions: Elon applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

Course Description

GBL 207 US: Iowa: The Trail Starts Here: The Iowa Caucuses 

The trail to the White House in 2020, like most recent Presidential campaigns, begins in Iowa. Some Presidential hopefuls have already made numerous visits to the state. Within the next year, many Democratic and Republican officials will be going to steak-fry and county fairs, shaking hands with the Butter Queen, and engaging in retail politics that has been a part of our culture for generations. Students often read about the arcane process of the Iowa caucuses, and how they are either the end of the road for many, while beneficial to the campaigns of others. This course allows students to fully engage with this important process.

Students will be assigned appropriate reading for this class and will have discussions about the primary/caucus process, as well as the nomination process in general. Depending on when the caucuses are held (currently scheduled for mid-January), students will fly to Iowa a week before the start of the caucuses. Once in Iowa, they will have a choice of ways in which to engage with the process. Those who are pursuing journalism can choose to work for one of the networks or a local station in Iowa. They can also elect to work for Elon student media or a consoritorium of college media. Those pursuing Political Science or Strategic Communications can choose to work for a candidate or party. Anyone, regardless of major, can choose whichever path he or she wishes once in Iowa. Students will return to Elon to wrap up and write about this experience, expanding upon the knowledge and insight gained from studying the caucuses up close and in person.

Students will need permission from the instructors to enroll in this course. They will be expected to show political awareness to the instructors.

  • The Winter Term and fall courses partially fulfill the Elon Core Curriculum requirement in the area of Society.

  • The WT course also satisfies the Experiential Learning Requirement for the Elon Core Curriculum requirement.

  • Grades count toward an Elon GPA.

  • This course may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis.

Activity Level: Easy Going

Activity levels are rated to fit into one of four categories: easy going, moderate, challenging and demanding. This program is rated as easy going, which means you should be comfortable with some walking throughout the day. Expect to get on and off of a coach, and be ready to stroll through cities and to stand for a few hours when you’re learning in museums.

Note: Though this program is listed as easy going, extreme cold weather conditions in Iowa may impact the activity level.




Students are required to take the fall pre-departure course associated with this Winter Term course. All students will automatically be registered for the pre-departure course but must register themselves for the Winter Term course during registration for Winter Term.

Cancellation Policy


To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.


This course is a Winter Term travel embedded course. The tentative travel dates for the program are January 8-23, 2020.
While official flight itineraries are typically distributed in early September, the tentative group departure/return point is TBD.
Note: This information is subject to change based on airline changes and cancellations.



Students will begin the course on Elon University's campus, then travel to Des Moines, Iowa.
  • On-campus classes at Elon
  • Arrive in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Orientation
  • Field work
  • Caucus Day
  • Debrief and assess
  • On-campus classes at Elon

Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues.


Students will be housed in shared hotel accommodations.


Costs for global study vary program to program and are in addition to the tuition for Winter Term (included in fall semester tuition/bill). 

Basic cost information is available on the Cost and Credit Chart.

Detailed cost information is available on the budget sheet


Scholarships/Travel Grants

Students seeking need-based financial support are encouraged to apply for the GEC Access Scholarship.

For additional information on scholarships or other funding for global engagement, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page or the financial planning section of our FAQs.

If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your program. 

Connect with us

Questions? See if they're answered in our Short-Term Programs FAQ section

Prefer to ask in person? Drop by the GEC in Global Commons 360 for Quick Questions, no appointment necessary:
Wednesdays 2-4 PM
Thursdays 9-11 AM
Learn from program alumniConnect with a Global Ambassador to learn from students that have studied on this program or others. Search the Global Ambassadors profiles to find students in your major(s), or organization(s), or with similar experiences.  

Get social: Connect with the GEC, alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal! You can also read blog posts from students on this program in years past and access blogs for other programs on the Study Abroad Blog.

Program Leader: Richard Landesberg
Associate Professor of Communications
McEwen - Communications Bldg., office 203C
2855 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244

Program Leader: Mark Dalhouse
Director of Study USA and Assistant Professor
Global Commons, office 360
2375 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244

Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC)
Global Commons 360
2375 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244
336.278.6700 (phone)
336.278.6692 (fax)


Ready to apply?

Click "apply now" from this brochure to get started, and complete your application by the deadline listed below.

If applications are not yet available, see the deadlines webpage for information on when this program will be accepting applications.

See the application instructions webpage for more information on the application requirements and process. 

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2020 09/02/2019
Rolling Admission 01/08/2020 01/20/2020
NOTE: Please view the deadlines page for full application, payment and cancellation deadlines.

The start date and end date listed reflect the dates students are expected to arrive in and depart from the host location and reflect the best information available to the Global Education Center. Please do not purchase plane tickets based on these dates. Individual programs will provide updates after your acceptance to the program.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of submission.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.