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Global vision

Global Studies Field School to give students 'transformative' experience

Student Life

By Janet Harron

A new field school designed to educate students about global studies is set to launch in 2020.

From left are Drs. Luke Ashworth and Liam Swiss.

Organizers Dr. Luke Ashworth, Department of Political Science, and Dr. Liam Swiss, Department of Sociology, partnered to offer the new program after working together to establish the International Bachelor of Arts Program in 2017.

“Although we are in different departments, there is a lot of crossover in our work, so a collaboration made a lot of sense,” said Dr. Ashworth.

The Global Studies Field School 2020 offers an interdisciplinary opportunity for Memorial students to learn more about the work of international organizations, trends in globalization and development, and how these actors and processes relate to their theoretical and historical contexts.

The program will begin with two weeks of preparatory sessions on campus in St. John’s and then shift to a base at Memorial’s Harlow Campus in the U.K. There, participants can take advantage of proximity to London and other nearby locations to engage with relevant organizations and institutions active in the international relations and international development fields, such as the Commonwealth Secretariat; the Overseas Development Institute; Chatham House; the Institute for Development Studies; and others.

A highlight of the field school will be a two-week visit to Belgium, France, and Switzerland to visit relevant institutions and international organizations, including the European Union/European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium; NATO Headquarters in Brussels; the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France; the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and more. Field visits to First World War sites in Belgium and France will also be included.

‘Icing on the cake’

“Students will hopefully come away from the program with a greater understanding of global institutions, international affairs and development; the fact they can do so via a six-week stay in Europe with stops in London, Brussels, Paris and Geneva is just icing on the cake,” he said.

Those with an interest in global affairs and international development will benefit most from the program. While students from political science and sociology, along with those enrolled in the International Bachelor of Arts Program have first priority for registration, the field school is open to students from across the university community.

“It opened my eyes to a lot about the world that I would never have gleaned in a conventional classroom.” — Dr. Liam Swiss

Students will be asked to complete three out of a possible four courses (two in political science, two in sociology). Prerequisites have been waived.

Both professors have travelled and lived in Europe at one time or another and are familiar with many of the sites on the itinerary. They both believe that field schools are an opportunity for students to have transformative experiences.

“One of my formative educational experiences as a university student was through a field school experience in India,” said Dr. Swiss. “It opened my eyes to a lot about the world that I would never have gleaned in a conventional classroom.”

An information session on the new field school will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 12 p.m. in SN-3060. All are welcome to attend.

For more information, please visit online.


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