As the common course for all Semester at Sea voyagers, Global Studies (IE 300) integrates critical global forces and patterns as we traverse the globe. It offers a shared experience of inquiry, reflection, and skills-development by weaving together four components:
- Global Citizenship. “Global citizenship” is commonly invoked as a central justification for global studies courses. But what is it, how is it experienced and practiced, what are its alleged benefits and costs, and why might we care? We explore this question, which underlies the entire SAS experience, with reference to a specific global socio-political theme or challenge, and through study of the Blue World.
- The Blue World. Oceans dominate our planet, and rapid global change across the ocean will greatly influence life in the future. As we traverse multiple oceans we will learn about their global properties and processes, with implications for future sustainability. We will also reflect on the impact of oceans on some of the great human settlements of the globe, represented by our port cities and the countries within which they sit.
- Port Country Discovery. Our ports are more than places to stretch our legs. They are laboratories within which we observe global forces (social and natural) in action, and where we develop skills for comparative thinking and serendipitous insight. Such skill development requires essential information about the geographies, cultures, histories, and current social issues of the places we visit, which the course provides. It also requires a capacity for intercultural connection and communication.
- Intercultural Competencies. Our travels become an opportunity to hone personally valuable and professionally transferable skills of intercultural observation and communication. Each port poses its own intercultural challenges, which we will address. By the voyage’s end, students will be able to generalize across these varied challenges to better understand the fundamentals of intercultural connection and communication within increasingly globalized societies.
As an established academic field of teaching and research, Global Studies explores transnational patterns of social life 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.
There is no field class associated with Global Studies.