Not only do discussions about the hyper-connected world we live in permeate classrooms at Northwestern, but students also actively participate in activities that unite them with people and issues around the globe. With events like the annual Global Engagement Summit (GES) and with the programs offered by the Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI), Northwestern students have unique opportunities to participate in international conversations both on and off campus.
Inside the classroom, Northwestern’s International Studies adjunct major and minor as well as the Global Health minor provide students with the opportunity to think critically about the world around them in an academic setting. International Studies is an interdisciplinary curriculum rooted in both history and political science, and students work closely with advisers who guide them through the program. International Studies also offers community-building events, speakers and mentorship through the Global Café. The Global Health minor, which is popular among students interested in going to medical school, has a built-in study abroad component related to public health. Global Health students are encouraged to analyze the critical health challenges facing our world today and explore diverse topics ranging from mental health to bioethics.
Additionally, every year, college-aged social change makers descend upon Northwestern’s campus for the multi-day Global Engagement Summit. GES, which is run by a dedicated group of Northwestern undergraduates, provides opportunities for delegates with big ideas on how to change the world. Through speaker events, mentorship opportunities and hands-on workshops, GES provides pathways for young people to solve the global problems they see as most paramount. There are also a number of opportunities afforded to delegates after the summit itself ends. Known as Outcomes, these post-GES options foster continued innovation and entrepreneurial spirit through things like grants and fellowships.
In addition to the summit hosted in Evanston every year, Northwestern has opportunities for students to engage globally off campus. The Global Engagement Studies Institute is an innovative study abroad option for undergraduates interested in advancing community-driven change. Through trips to places like Bolivia, India, Nicaragua and Uganda, students have the chance to join local communities and solve important issues like public health, women’s empowerment and educational shortcomings. In the past, students who traveled through GESI have worked on projects to create sustainable fishing practices in Uganda, improve access to HIV/AIDS information in Bolivia and support education in South Africa.
Global engagement at Northwestern is about understanding and thinking critically our place in the world around us. Through meaningful programming both on and off-campus, the university fosters these discussions and encourages students to become international citizens.