About Presidential Global Scholars

I’m studying in Switzerland as a part of Virginia Tech’s brand new Presidential Global Scholars program, which is being put on through University Honors. While more (and updated) information can be found on its official page, the program’s mission speaks for itself:

“It is designed for ambitious Honors students who seek to reflect on their place in the world and to enhance their capability of contributing positively to the transformation of the world.”

The program will consist of several “modules,” each taught by a different professor for about two weeks. The modules will be made up of lectures, (lots of) discussion, trips to relevant locations throughout Europe, and other learning experiences at the discretion of the professors.The program is designed to be a truly immersive learning experience; not only will we be immersed in the variety of cultures around us, but we will be living in an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and exploration. Learning will not be bounded by formal group assignments or travel, but will be equally defined by individual travel and discussions that take place outside the classroom.

The professors are from a variety of backgrounds including Science, Geosciences, and English. The modules being covered are “Discourse and Global Society,” “Science and the Global World,” “Global Affairs,” and “Italian Languages and Cultures.” Additionally, our group trips to Athens and Naples will be in the context of a more general investigation of international experience that will focus on the “importance of sight specific experiences for intellectual development.” While there are more details and learning objectives for each module, I am sure I cannot do justice explaining them until I experience them.

I do not know exactly what the specific takeaways of the program will be me, but it will undoubtedly change the lens through which I view the world in one way or another. I have talked to several people who spent semesters abroad, and almost each of them indicated that their experiences played an important role in making them who they are today, so I trust that it has the potential to be life changing.

EDIT: Read about my trips to Naples, Morocco, and see what my biggest takeaways from the semester were.