Spring 2024 | Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration

IE 200 Global Studies [CRN 19446]

Overview of Course

The field of Global Studies explores transnational patterns of human experience 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.

Our Global Studies course is the connective academic experience for the shipboard community. It is the place where we draw meaning from our time on the water, our varied cultural encounters, our explorations in port, and our inevitable conversations about obligations and opportunities as global citizens. The course provides a narrative for the voyage, in addition to skills and knowledge that will be useful after our travels by weaving together the following four components with associated learning outcomes:

Port Country Discovery (PCD). 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.

The Blue World (BW). As half of our time on the voyage will be spent sailing the world’s oceans it is essential that we examine in greater detail what it is that lies “beneath our feet.” Oceans dominate our planet, and rapid global changes across the oceans will greatly influence life in the future. As we sail the seas, 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.

Intercultural Competence (IC). Regardless of your professional or personal trajectory, your future is certain to involve increased intercultural interaction with people from a wide range of cultures other than your own. Our port encounters, class sessions and post-port reflections serve as an opportunity to hone personally valuable and professionally transferable skills of intercultural observation, communication, and interaction. Each port poses its own intercultural challenges, which we will address. By the voyage’s end, we will be able to generalize across these varied challenges to better understand the fundamentals of intercultural connection and communication within increasingly globalized societies.

Global Citizenship with a Focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “Global citizenship” is commonly invoked as a justification for, and outcome of, global studies courses. But what is it, how is it experienced and practiced, and how might we become more engaged global citizens? These are the kinds of questions we will attempt to address through this thread of the Global Studies course. We will focus our attention on many of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” The SDGs, set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. We will address several of the SGDs that touch upon the reduction of poverty, maintaining sustainable communities, quality educational access, health and well-being, gender equality, peace and justice, clean water and sanitation, reducing inequalities, and those related to the environment.
Additionally, Country/Culture Insights (CCI), designed to address port preparation from a cultural and current event perspective, will be presented the day before arrival into each port.