- Grinnell students want to make a difference in the world. They want to visit other places and have authentic conversations with the people who live there. They want to understand different perspectives, not be tourists.
- At Grinnell, global engagement isn’t reserved for a semester abroad your junior year. It can start your first year through a Global Learning Program class that includes course-embedded travel.
- Global engagement also includes ways to meet world leaders on campus for events and short courses or even regular courses. Plus, about 1 in 5 students is an international student.
- And many courses, not just language courses, have global themes. Global understanding is part of who we are.
A Global Campus in Iowa
The Grinnell students that I've taught the Grinnell students that I know, the Grinnell students who take French are students who are by definition interested in the world. They're interested in making a difference in the world. They're trying to figure out what that means and what the best way is to make a difference. But they want to be in contact with other people, they want to be able to go to other places in the world, and not be a tourist, they want to be able to go to other places in the world, and actually have authentic communication with people who are living there, and listen to them understand their perspectives, and then eventually work with them in some in some way to-- to make an impact on their lives. Grinnell, I would say unlike some other places, doesn't just think of global engagement as study abroad for a semester, say in your junior year. We think of it as actually starting in the first year. And that might include some kind of off campus experience with a professor in your first year, such as the the course that I've taught, that took students to Germany and France in the spring of their first year of college. So in addition to that, we also think about it in terms of international internships, the possibility for a student between, say, their second and third year before their junior year having an internship in an organization in Peru, or France, or Brazil, or Kenya. And then as well, the opportunity to meet on campus, real world leaders, the people who are involved in the decision making that affects the world. We bring those people to campus. Sometimes they're even on campus teaching courses, short courses, as part of our curriculum, or they're embedded in the courses that we're teaching as part of our regular curriculum. So students are getting to know the decision makers of the world here in Grinnell their as part of their four year education. So you put all of that on top of the fact that we have a large international student population, nearly one in every five students at Grinnell is coming from somewhere outside of the United States. You put all those opportunities with the fact that the students roommates, the person who's their lab partner in their chemistry class, the person that they're eating within the dining hall is probably from another part of the world and with the fact that their faculty are teaching courses that are about issues in the world using languages, World Languages. And suddenly you've created in the middle of Iowa, a very Global Campus and a global education.
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