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New York trip is highlight of spring Global Studies class

London trip
November 27, 2012

Freshman and sophomore students who enroll in the Global Cities class offered by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences will spend their spring break next March exploring the many facets of New York City, from its financial and fashion industries to its arts and cultural offerings, as well as issues ranging from immigration to air quality to global warming’s effect on the island ecology of Manhattan.

This is the second time the three-credit Global Cities course (IAS 294) has been offered by New College, the core college on ASU’s West campus. Last spring the focus was on London, and a group of students spent their spring break in England’s capital, accompanied by faculty members including Elizabeth Langland, dean of New College and vice provost of the West campus.

“The London trip was an extraordinary educational experience and, without exception, the students returned eager to pursue more international travel in their futures,” said Langland, who will participate in the New York course and trip along with Jeff Kennedy, a faculty member in New College and events director for the West campus, and Robert Taylor, associate dean in New College, who also went to London.

The goal of the course is to expand the global awareness of New College students through intensive study of a major international city. Students spend the first several weeks of the course studying the city’s history, political system, economy, geography, architecture, arts and culture before visiting it during spring break. During their one-week visit, students build on what they have learned from the first part of the semester by exploring the city and experiencing its culture firsthand.

Upon returning, students spend the final weeks of the course putting together a project, typically an online portfolio, documenting through essay and image their understanding of the city and its role in the world today.

“My experience of traveling to London was not only breathtaking and memorable, but it was also a great learning experience,” said Adrianna Aguirre, a sophomore psychology major who is now assisting in providing information for students considering taking the class next spring.

“I wanted to travel to London, but I did not expect to fall in love with this beautiful global city and learn so much from Dean Langland and Dean Taylor,” Aguirre said. “New College professors really do practice what they preach in terms of the importance of looking at issues from the perspective of different disciplines. I have no doubt that students who participate in the New York course will gain an educational and fun experience that they will remember forever.”

When another of the students who went to London was asked what he learned, Langland reports that he had an eloquent answer. “He said he learned how to be comfortable with being lost. He developed confidence that he had the resources to figure out how to get where he wanted to go,” Langland said. “That’s a life lesson – being comfortable with not knowing exactly where you are, confident that you have the ability to find a productive path to your destination, whether a place or a rewarding career.”

Students planning to take the Global Cities course next spring should plan for approximately $1,500 in expenses associated with the New York trip. Students may apply for financial assistance to help cover the trip expenses.

Eligibility requirements include freshman or sophomore status and living in a residence hall on the West campus. Students wishing to take the course must submit an application by Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

Interested students may attend an information meeting Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. in Casa de Oro’s Second Floor Academic Lounge. Students may also contact or (602) 543-7000 for additional details.