Office of International Programs

Travel-Human Rights

Human Rights in International Law
With Study in The Hague and Geneva

May 28 - June 10, 2013

POS 399: 3 credits (or 6 credits with instructor's permission)

International Human Rights is undoubtedly a discipline with a strong theoretical foundation. You can learn quite a bit about the world of human rights in a traditional classroom. However, the best way to understand this subject is to actually engage it: see it in action, talk with experts in the field, and get access to the key international organizations and human rights mechanisms that form the discipline. This course seeks to provide you with both a substantive understanding of key human rights issues, and give you a first-hand look at how that knowledge is put into practice.

We will first travel to The Hague, in the Netherlands to visit the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice and then to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the UN Human Rights Council meetings and side events at UN Headquarters. You will hear from and interact with experts in the field, diplomats and UN representatives throughout your stay. Upon arrival in Geneva, the course will be team-taught with Joshua Cooper, a renowned human rights practitioner and expert.

We will include more information about the meetings once the UN has posted the schedule.


Julia M. Edwards, Lecturer in Political Science. University of Southern Maine, B.A., 2005; Seton Hall University, M.A., 2009.  Fulbright Scholar in Norway, 2009-2010.

Joshua Cooper is currently the US Human Rights Network Universal Periodic Review Geneva Coordinator for the historic first review of the human rights record of the United States of America. Cooper is also the Director of Training at the International Training Centre for Teaching Peace and Human Rights and a Trainer at the Advanced Geneva Training Course on International Law and Advocacy for the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Cooper also is a Trainer for the University of New South Wales Diplomacy Training Program focusing on human rights of indigenous peoples in the Asia-Pacific region. Cooper serves on the Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force at the United Nations Association-USA. Cooper has taught at the University of Hawaii for over a decade in fields of political science, peace studies and journalism.


This program is full. Students are encouraged to consider the Research in the European Union course instead or you may apply for a spot on the waiting list for this program. A complete application includes all of the following items:

* Signed, completed application form*
* $500 non-refundable deposit (applied to the program cost)
* Typed 200-word essay
* A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or academic advisor
* Official copies of all academic transcripts

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. You will be notified by e-mail of your application status. If your application is not accepted, the nonrefundable deposit will be returned. If the program is canceled for any reason by the USM, all deposits will be returned.

*If you are having trouble downloading the application, please contact us at (207) 780-4959 or and we will send you one. You may also want to try upgrading to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.


The program fee for the Human Rights in Practice program is $2250. The cost of tuition and fees at the in-state rate are in addition to the program fee.The program fee includes accommodation, roundtrip airfare, ground transportation, breakfast each morning, site visits, field trips, and comprehensive medical insurance through iNext.

Not included in the program fee is the cost of tuition, fees, lunches and dinners, books, academic supplies, or other personal expenses. Three credits of tuition is $759 plus $119 in regular university fees. If you choose to take six credits, tuition is $1518 plus $203 in regular university fees. All participants on USM travel courses receive the in-state tuition rate regardless of residency.

All participants will be automatically registered for a payment plan. The $500 deposit will go towards the cost of the program and the remaining balance will be due as follows:

50% of the balance due March 22, 2013

Remaining balance due April 26, 2013

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Federal financial aid and loans are available to matriculated students who participate in travel courses. In order to receive the benefit of financial aid, students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits during the summer for a summer travel course. If financial aid does not cover the full cost of the program, students are responsible for paying the remaining balance according to the payment plan schedule.

Include the costs of this course in your FAFSA application. If you have questions about financial aid or completing your FAFSA, please contact the financial aid office at (207) 780-4166. If you are not a matriculated student at USM, please check with the financial aid office at your institution.

USM's Office of International Programs offers small scholarships for students enrolled in summer travel courses. Scholarships are competitive and awards are up to $500. The application deadline is February 8, 2013. Students applying for the International Summer Scholarship must apply to a travel course before or at the same time as submitting a scholarship application.