New global studies program draws academic interest

The open house of UVM’s new Global Studies program drew in a large crowd last Wednesday.  Students came to learn more about the Global Studies major and minor that are now offered under the Global and Regional Studies department.  Many students at the meeting had already declared a Global Studies major, but others came to learn about the program for the first time.  According to Luis Vivanco, Director of the Global and Regional Studies Program, the Global Studies program has become the fastest-growing major in his department, and he expects that number to continue to grow.  The Global Studies program is designed to teach students about different perspectives on interconnections and interdependencies around the world, explains their website.Global Studies majors are required to complete 30 credit hours of classes in the Global Studies curriculum.Required courses include two Global Studies specific courses and four core courses that can be picked from three thematic areas.  The remaining credits can be chosen from a list of electives and study abroad programs.  Minors in this department have no pre-requisites and are required to take Introduction to Global Studies and six credits from a list of core courses.  Many students expressed interest in the Global Studies program because of their interest in foreign cultures.  “I love foreign languages, foreign culture and traveling,” one attendee said. Students are highly encouraged to study abroad or in other settings in the US, Vivanco said. “[You’re] no longer learning about the world, you’re learning in the world, from the world,” he said.According to the program’s Philosophic Goals Statement, “Global Studies assumes a cross-border perspective on historically-rooted trends and issues that increasingly affect all societies.” The approach to learning from multiple perspectives draws a large group of students to the program.”I’m interested in Global Studies because of the opportunity to learn in so many disciplines,” another first-year attendee said.The website lists a variety of career opportunities associated with a Global Studies major.  The list ranges from international law and development to non-profit work and activism.