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Global Understanding Component

This departmental requirement is the HIED program alternative to a foreign language requirement. It is intended to assist students in developing a holistic perspective of higher education through knowledge of its internal and external constituents, as well as to understand the interests and concerns of the global community.

By meeting this requirement, students will demonstrate an understanding of one or more non-U.S. cultures and their effects on postsecondary education.

A student will work with her or his advisor to develop a plan to demonstrate the understanding of another culture and how that culture impacts postsecondary education. This might be demonstrated by

  1. Independent or directed study of a particular culture or the influences of that culture on postsecondary education. The perspective could be historical, sociological, religious, economic, or cultural.
  2. A course in comparative education, an internship, study abroad, or language study that shows the influences of that culture on postsecondary education. If a student chooses to pursue the internship or study abroad option, he or she much immerse himself or herself in that culture for at least one month.
  3. An oral presentation for various audiences that would integrate art, music, film, or other cultural expressions is required upon project completion. Students may fulfill the requirement by taking a course for credit, integrating their work into existing courses, or an alternative means of demonstration. Creativity and ingenuity are encouraged. Students who enroll in the Comparative Higher Education Course meet this requirement through an in-depth research project and an in-class presentation.

Students who are citizens of another country must demonstrate understanding of a culture's impact on postsecondary education in a culture other than their own. Students who enter the program with a foreign language proficiency may apply their knowledge of that language to the project, but must do so in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the ways in which a culture impacts postsecondary education.

Students are encouraged to begin this process as early as possible in consultation with their advisor in the first semester of attendance. The student will be expected to present the project at a meeting of the program faculty, who may ask that the student modify the proposal. Once the plan is approved by the faculty, the student will work with her or his program advisor to complete the project. The advisor will make the final determination about the acceptability of the work submitted. The project must be approved and completed prior to the preliminary exams.

Global Understanding Internships

Our students have traveled and studied throughout the world as a part of our Global Understanding requirements. The following links share information from some of the students who have taken advantage of this opportunity. Several individual pages have been created by former travellers containing highlights of their adventures and we welcome you to peruse them as inspiration for your own travels. 

Abi Kennedy
New Zealand
2013

Jude Leary
Mexico
2012

Leilani Kupo
China
2008

Lisa Kirchner
England
2008

Jeff Kegolis
Australia
2007

Leilani Kupo
New Zealand
2007

Cathy Swick
France
2005

Tamara Rice
New Zealand
2005

Bob Stowe
Australia
2002

Sally Jackson
Ukraine
2002

Janice Gerda
Ireland
2002

Cheryl Conley
England
2001

Andrew Rivers
Scotland
2001

Janice Gerda
Bulgaria
2000

Gretchen Lohman
Scotland
2000

Bill Arnold
Botswana
1999

Rena Murphy
Scotland
1999

Other former travelers have visited the following countries: Benin, Russia, England, Scotland, France, Mexico, Canada, Ghana, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Germany. Another option is to register for CSP 6950: United Kingdom Study Tour and complete an additional project or internship in conjunction with the course. 

Resources for a Global Understanding Internship

We have compiled the following list of resources for students who are considering a Global Understanding Internship:

Website StudyAbroad.com - especially check out their Handbook
NASPA's International Exchange Program
Lonely Planet Travel Guides 
Rough Guides Travel Guides
International Student Identity Card (and discounts, insurance, free e-mail, etc.) available at BGSU's Center for International Programs
Currency exchange rates at XE.com
Check out potential health issues at the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization
Check out travel advisories from the US State Department
Join the International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC)
Try working while abroad to defray expenses - Council on International Educational Exchange