Overview of Course
The field of Global Studies explores transnational patterns of human experience across time and space, drawing on multiple disciplines and ways of knowing. Its aim is to better understand important global forces that structure our lives, shape the future, and demand our attention as we seek a better world.
Our Global Studies course is the connective academic experience for the shipboard community. It is the place where we draw meaning from our time on the water, our varied cultural encounters, our explorations in port, and our inevitable conversations about obligations and opportunities as global citizens. The course provides a narrative for the voyage, and skills and knowledge useful after our travels.
The course weaves together themes of Port Country Discovery and Global Citizenship, drawing in aspects of culture, socio-economics, current issues, intercultural competency, and environmental sustainability. Our unifying narrative will be around “Glocalization” which is the combination and interaction of global and local forces of change; it is the very essence of the Semester at Sea academic experience and the foundation of our adventure in Global Studies. Using the long lens of history to understand major trends that are defining our world today, this course will analyze how those trends are shaping the communities we visit and, in turn, how those localities contribute to global trends. Two major themes – international human rights and the legacy of colonialism – will be especially highlighted through this glocal framework.
Port Country Discovery – Students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate observational and analytical skills needed to draw cross-cultural comparisons and to assess the similarities and differences in a variety of human experiences.
2. Identify key conditions and defining systems (e.g. cultural, economic, environmental, historical, political, and/or technological) of port countries in preparation for intercultural encounters.
Becoming ‘Intercultural’ – Students will be able to:
3. Identify their own assumptions, beliefs, and biases to increase their own cultural self-awareness and how this may impact their interactions with others.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural differences and similarities in order to enhance their intercultural communication skills as they go about navigating their cultural encounters.
Blue World – Students will be able to:
5. Demonstrate knowledge of ocean dynamics and their role in global climate systems and environmental sustainability.
6. Describe key aspects of the human uses and abuses of the marine environment and how they inform global citizenship and the development of ocean stewardship.
Global Citizenship: Local Rights in a Transnational Context – Students will be able to:
7. Identify key developments in the recent history of human rights and, using a glocal lens, consider how those rights are applied, implemented or ignored at the national and local levels.
8. Recognize the opportunities to act as a global citizen with capacity to improve the rights of all peoples around the world.