Supplementing language training at the IIS is a four-week language immersion programme in an Arabic-speaking country or Iran at the end of Year 1. This is an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the language and culture of an Arabic-/Persian-speaking country.
The language immersion programme is subject to UK Government travel advice and students’ obtaining the necessary visas.
Educational Field Trip to Spain
Whenever feasible, GPISH students are taken on a field trip to Spain in Year 2 (subject to the UK Government travel advisory guidelines). The trip is focused on visits to Muslim architectural monuments of Andalusia. The field trip also allows the students to witness the contemporary use of the architectural sites, developing their visual literacy and contributing to learning about the formation of political and religious identity as well as art and architecture. With the help of an academic lead, the field trip complements in-house academic modules, bringing to life in front of their eyes the places students have read about. Some of the primary sites that students visit during this trip are the Great Mosque of Cordoba, which is the only surviving monument of the Caliphate of Cordoba; the ruins of Madinat-al-Zahra, which was awarded an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2010; and the magnificent palaces, fountains and gardens of Alhambra, which exemplify the blending of Moorish and traditional Andalusian architecture.
The Spain field trip is subject to UK Government travel advice and students’ obtaining the necessary visas.
Leadership Skills Workshop and Careers Seminars
The objective of the Leadership Workshop in Year 2 is to start integrating learning with the development of leadership skills congruent with today’s globalised and highly mobile workplace. Practical leadership skills for communicating, influencing and motivating across cultures and deepening individual impact within society are linked with theoretical knowledge. The workshop is followed over the course of Year 2 by a series of Careers Seminars, arranged in line with the students’ interests and aspirations. The seminars are hosted by experts and professionals in a variety of fields, contributing overall to the programme’s employability focus.
Topics in the Philosophy of Religion
This lecture series, delivered by Dr Aziz Esmail, is intended to develop analytical thinking relevant to the concepts found in religious discourse. The relation between religious and secular culture is explored and the terms themselves analysed. Students read major philosophers whose ideas have had an explicit or tacit relationship to issues of importance in religion. These range from Plato and Aristotle, through representatives of the medieval philosophical tradition common to the scriptural faiths, to philosophers who have been influential in the shaping of the modern world, from Hume and Kant to Heidegger and Wittgenstein.