It may be only March, but I am already thinking of summer. When I was in graduate school, summers were times to find short research jobs, brush up on language training, or find a fieldschool. The NIA Summer Training in Aging Research (STAR) program is highly recommended (the deadline was March 1), and there are a few similar programs in gerontology, but is there such a thing as an anthropology fieldschool for aging topics?

Off the Beaten Track is always adding new and interesting research topics to its offering, but this year they have started a new fieldschool opportunity for those of us interested in aging, led by Mirjam Bussels. For those of you who have not come across Off the Beaten Track yet, they offer the chance for anthropology students and anyone wanting to do a summer fieldwork to design and work on an independent project on the Maltese archipelago. Their staff provide custom support and supervision as well as invaluable contacts in the community and expertise.They are accredited up to 9 credits (3 for completion of the course itself, and up to 6 for completion of a paper or another final project). While this project could be the basis for a Masters thesis or a pilot project for larger study in the region, the organizers also aim to publish papers in their journal, Omertaa. At the moment three students are in the process of writing their papers on aging.

I contacted Mirjam to learn more about this program. Her own project is about the “ethics of the meal time” based on research in Belgium and 4 months volunteering in an elderly home on Gozo. Mirjam also listed some of the topics that previous students were able to conduct:

– Aging on Gozo in general.
– Family centered care
– Aging with a focus on patient-centered care for demented elderly
– A variety of aspects of the expats’ life on Gozo (especially the British)
– Not aging in place: retirement tourism
– Elderly performing seasonal tourism, second homes,…

This looks like a wonderful opportunity for students who want to learn in an international and multi-age environment (doesn’t hurt that it is Malta)

Any other suggests for summer fieldschools or training programs, leave details in the comments!