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Western Kentucky University

Study Away

No passport required


Film the way it's supposed to be
—engaged, active, & independent!

Gain access to film making elite while earning WKU credit. 


About the Program

This hybrid course is an intense submersive experience of film through the Sundance Film Festival. The course will introduce students to the study and practice of film festivals, including the analysis of independent films and the understanding of independent production and distribution. Students will engage with the films and filmmakers at Sundance firsthand through a series of screenings, panels, course lectures, and class assignments.

This course is available for honors augmentation and is approved as a Gender and Women's Studies elective.


Read what students say about this program

  •  "I'll start with the facts. Over the course of eight days, I attended 24 screenings of 23 films in ten different Sundance categories."  Read more...
  • "I never thought I'd get to take a class that would allow me to watch films at one of the biggest film festivals and give me the chance to interact with filmmakers and actors."  Read more...
  • "The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah is known not only for showcasing independent films, and bringing together movie-types like actors, directors and filmmakers – but also for its generous amounts of snowfall and chilly temperatures."  Read more...



$100 Early Bird Special

All students who complete the application process by September 5th will receive a $100 discount in the program cost.

sundance planning 


 Learning Objectives

  • Ability to define and articulate the economics of film.
  • Understand the history and importance of Sundance Film Festival.
  • Compare and contrast multiple approaches to independent cinema
  • Adapt knowledge learned to further success in your field of study.
  • Recognize and define the distinguishing characteristics of films in the American film festival tradition.
  • Identify alternate film language (i.e. narration, lighting, camera angles, and acting) which characterize independent films.
  • Articulate the role of independent film in political and social change.


  • Experience Film through attendance at Sundance Film Festival.
  • Engage firsthand with film makers, critics, and fans of independent film.
  • See multiple independent films.

Learn more about Sundance.


sundance sign



The Program Leaders may determine other eligibility requirements, but at a minimum, all applicants need to meet these requirements: 

  • Current WKU student eligible to register for WKU courses.
  • Students from outside WKU may participate as visiting students.
  • Good academic standing (Undergraduate Catalog p.27; Graduate Catalog p.30)
  • 18 years of age or older at time of departure (parent/guardian permission for anyone under 18 at time of departure).
  • No current disciplinary sanctions as verified by Judicial Affairs.
  • Full payment prior to departure.
  • Completion of all pre-departure orientations.
  • Permission of instructor(s).
  • While the program requires a 3.0 GPA for attendance, program leaders will consider all applicants who apply. Students with lower GPA may be allowed entrance with permission from program leaders.
  • Complete Study Away application
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Program Package


  • Undergraduate tuition for 3 credit hours ($1,090 value)
  • Eight-nights of accommodations in Park City, Utah
  • Two Group Meals and some light snacks
  • Airport transfer from Salt Lake City, Utah to hotel in Park City.
  • Course-related ground transportation in Park City
  • Round-trip flight between Nashville and Salt Lake City.
  • $50 cash for meals

Not included in program fee

  • Transportation between your departure airport and your home.
  • Independent travel (non-program travel).
  • Meals, services, and beverages not included during course-related field programs.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, phone service, and Internet access.
  • Tips for guides and drivers not included in program-related activity.
  • Travel cancellation/interruption insurance. Recommended.
  • Baggage fees and costs associated with flight / program changes
  • *Sundance Film Festival Past

*NOTE – The program aids in acquiring the Sundance Pass needed for the program, but it is the student's responsibility to complete the process as instructed.

Study Away courses are not eligible for employee tuition waivers or discounts. Final program fee subject to change due to travel arrangements.


photo with slattery 


Logistical Considerations

  • Students should be prepared to conduct themselves in a mature and respectful manner at all times.
  • This program will also include a fair amount of walking. Proper shoes and attire are required.
  • Expect extreme winter weather, and to pack accordingly.


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Planned Schedule - January 2015 

January  20

Travel to Park City, Utah

January  21

 Park City Orientation

January  22

Pick up Sundance Pass.

January  23

Evening Activity Film Crashing 101

January 24 - 26

Film Screenings

January 27

Film Screenings, Group Dinner

January 28

Return to Nashville


sundance group 



Questions? Contact us right away!

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link to program details

Course Options (3 credits)

  • Film 399
  • English 399
  • POP 399

Program Leaders


  • Park City, Utah


  • Winter 2015


  • 12 Students: $2950
  • 16 Students: $2750
  • 20 Students: $2599
  • 24 Students: $2499
  • 28 Students: $2399
  • Final program fee subject to change due to travel arrangements.


  • $100 Early Bird Special - All students who complete the application process by September 5th will receive a $100 discount in the program cost.

Funding Options





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 Last Modified 1/25/15