Over the winter, I traveled to India.
However, as the title hinted, I actually wouldn’t be writing about my trip to India, but about the program behind the trip. The Global Citizenship Program, currently directed by David Fine, is a four year, cross-college, multidisciplinary certificate program designed to target students from all backgrounds, including international students to students with very little travel experience. The idea of Global Citizenship is to get students “to think globally, but to act locally.”
While we focused a lot about foreign issues, such as women’s rights in developing countries, the MDGs, the effect of globalization, we were encouraged to become active citizens in our own local communities. We were strongly encouraged to vote (this video was sent to encourage us). We were involved in a project in Bethlehem where we interviewed refugees. In our senior year, we will also be tasked with creating a community project.
Aside from being encouraged to be active citizens domestically, as the name hints, we also had a large international focus as well. A big part of the program is the travel component. Every cohort had a designated non-English speaking country that they will travel to for a cultural immersion experience. Cohort VI traveled to Costa Rica. Cohort VII went to Shanghai. Cohort IIX was in Malaysia last school year. And my cohort, Cohort IX just returned from India three weeks ago. For two semesters, each cohort was drilled in the traditions, culture, and literature of each country. By doing so, we recognize the importance of global knowledge and we learned what it feels like to be living in a completely foreign country.
Since there had been a recent change in leadership, the next cohort will be selected sometime during the spring semester of 2014. This is truly a great opportunity and I really hope to post a video about this program soon!