Global Studies is the connective educational experience for all SAS voyage participants. It creates a common platform for exploring and learning about the world and our role in it. It prepares us to draw meaning from our cultural encounters and our ocean voyage and to improve our effectiveness as global citizens.
The goal of this course is to provide students with the historical framework needed to develop critical skills and objective perspectives within a transnational context, from the regional communities we visit, to the geopolitical discourse we engage in. The interdisciplinary nature of the coursework and fieldwork will expand students’ ability to identify cultural differences and appreciate social distinctions through a broader political lens. At the end of the voyage, students will be equipped to translate knowledge into action that fosters social equity.
There are 4 key components to the course:
- Port Country Discovery: We will establish a foundation of essential information concerning the geographies, cultures, histories, and current social issues in the countries we visit. We will examine how governing bodies and civic entities respond to globalizing forces within the scope of (but not limited to) economic development, climate change adaptation, food security, migration and refugee policies, women’s health, infant mortality, access to education, and marginalization of the Other.
- Intercultural Competency: We will develop observational, intercultural, and analytical skills for high-value interactions with local peoples and places. Recognizing and accepting our intercultural differences affect our perception of others, we will strive to effectively communicate across cultures and make decisions informed by multiple frames of reference.
- Oceans and Sustainability Engagement: We will learn about the state of the oceans, their importance to the sustainability of our planet’s environment, and sustainability more generally. We understand that climate change entails not only rising sea levels and United Nations conventions but a wide range of complex transnational problems affecting individuals in dramatically different ways.
- Global Citizenship: We will integrate our studies and experiences into a consciousness of and respect for the diversity of world cultures, the forces of globalization, the ways in which the world is changing, the fundamental importance of a healthy environment, and how our own cultural, political, and economic perspectives, habits and choices shape our world and can shape it for the better. We will examine the economic, political, cultural, and ecological dimensions of globalization—a concept that is interpreted differently by scholars in various fields. We will discuss various ideologies of globalization such as market globalism, justice globalism, and religious globalism, factoring in harmful effects such as human trafficking, illicit drug and weapons trading, the rise in nationalism and religious fundamentalism, ethnic conflicts, species extinction, and the toll of globalization on the human psyche.
Throughout our voyage, we will ponder the future direction our increasingly-global society and how regional cultures affected by globalization fit into a transnational context. At the end of the course, we will examine our changed perspectives on globalization based on our experiences during the voyage, and consider what actions we may take as citizens to address the costs of globalization.
There is no field class associated with Global Studies.