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  • Locations: Willemstad, Curacao
  • Program Terms: Fall- Embedded
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:

Program Overview     

CRIM 451 (Race, Crime, and Justice)(3 credits) focuses on the relationship between race and the law. In this embedded version of CRIM 451, we will feature online instruction and a one-week mandatory trip to Curacao, a Caribbean island nation that is a member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The great majority of our online instruction will concentrate on how American law and legal institutions have dealt with race. We will cover how the Constitution and courts have treated race from the beginnings of the United States to present. We will study the legal framework of slavery, its abolition, the rise and fall of Jim Crow segregation, affirmative action, and continuing disparities. We will examine specific criminal justice issues such as differences in incarceration rates and the death penalty,wrongful convictions, racial profiling, police use of force, and police relations.

Our trip to Curacao will occur during Thanksgiving break. Curacao has a racial history that parallels the American experience in some ways but is unique in many others. Curacao is a small island nation that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although it is located in the Caribbean, its citizens hold European passports. However, it is quickly apparent that Dutch and other continental Europeans do not consider Curacaoans to be fully European and the Curacaoans do not enjoy the same luxuries and lifestyle experienced by Netherlanders. Our time in Curacao will be spent trying to understand how race has played a role in shaping the identity of the people of Curacao. We will examine the role played by Curacao in the slave trade, the nature of slavery in Curacao and the impact of slave rebellions there, contemporary race relations, human trafficking, and Curacao's Jewish community that was one of the earliest in the Western world. We will have daily site visits, tours, and lectures but will also provide time for personal exploration of the island.

Program Quicklinks     

Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links



Any pre-requisite courses are established by the faculty leader or department hosting the course.  The following have been listed as pre-requisites for consideration to enroll in this course and travel on the embedded education abroad program:
  • No pre-requisites.
  • The course is open to students from all majors at any Penn State campus.
  • Admission in the course and permission to travel with the group are at the discretion of the faculty leader and/or academic department hosting the course.  Academic standing and disciplinary or conduct issues may impact eligibility.

Housing and Meals

During the embedded travel component, housing will consist of a hotel/hostel.

Program Costs

Students pay regular Penn State tuition (either in-state or out-of-state) for the credits associated with the embedded course.  Travel costs, lodging, meals, excursions, and other fees are determined by the program budget which is set by the program leader.  Please consult the program leader for additional information.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Global Programs administers a scholarship that is specifically designated to support students studying abroad on embedded courses.  The scholarship is competitive, and the deadlines to apply are strictly enforced.  Please review the Embedded Programs Scholarship eligibility, deadlines, and application process.


For More Information

For more information about this course, please contact the program leader: Howard Smith by emailing

How to Apply

 The process for enrolling in an embedded course varies according to the instructor and/or department.  The program leader has indicated that in order to enroll in the course and travel component, students must complete an online application.  Please contact the program leader to request the link to the application.

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.




Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall- Embedded 2019 08/21/2019
Rolling Admission 11/23/2019 11/30/2019
NOTE: NOTE: The application deadline date is NOT as it appears above. Please contact the program leader Howard Smith by emailing if you are interested in applying for this embedded program.
Fall- Embedded 2020 08/15/2020 08/15/2020 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed