Note: Due to the rapidly evolving COVID 19 crisis, we are prepared to adjust Advance experiences as necessary to ensure student and faculty safety.

The face-to-face intensives (“Advances”) are a central learning experience of the program. Students connect with cohort members, explore their research with their Project Faculty, and engage in lectures with the lead mentor, Dr. Leonard Sweet.


Students participate in three Advances during the program:

  • First Advance: Portland, Oregon
  • Second Advance: Cambridge, UK
  • Final Advance: Orcas Island, Washington (The Salish-Seaside Escapes)

What to expect

  • Advances last four to seven days.
  • The first Advance is designed to introduce students to Dr. Sweet's teaching and to establish cohort rapport. The second and final Advances provide opportunity to explore semiotics in different contexts.
  • Food and lodging are provided with incidentals excepted. Wireless internet connectivity is available when possible.
  • Students are responsible for all air travel and local transport (car rental, taxi, etc), visas, vaccinations, and expenses associated with guests.
  • Project Faculty participate in some Advances.
  • Approved guests are welcome at the final Advance "at cost." 
  • Activities include extensive walking, utilizing stairs, sitting, note taking, listening and viewing field presentations, navigating unfamiliar crowded spaces, eating local foods, etc. Though we make every effort to accommodate student needs, please be aware that in international settings we cannot ensure meaningful access for qualified students with physical, dietary, psychological, attentional or learning-based disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.