Academics / Community

Global Scholarship program encourages study of diverse cultures

Dana Hall has initiated the Global Scholarship Program, available to the freshman class as a four-year commitment to experience diverse, international perspectives through “curriculum choices, travel and projects undertaken at Dana Hall,” according to the Mission Statement of the Global Education Committee. Ultimately, students who fulfill the program’s requirements will earn a Global Scholar’s Certificate when they graduate.

“It’s important to have a better global education that is above and beyond the basics,” said Social Studies teacher Ms. Alexandra Siemon, who is Advisor of the Global Scholarship Program. She gave as an example the case of Ebola, in which there have been clear conflicts between the western scientific perspectives and local rituals regarding burying the bodies of the dead. Therefore, people need to know the local and international context and how to respect different sides of opinions.

In order to achieve these goals, there are four components of the requirements: activities, courses, travel, and programs. According to the “Components of the Certificate,” participants can take part in activities including but not limited to “concerts, workshops, clubs or excursions” that expose them to unfamiliar cultures. Second, students have to acquire a minimum of B- in all courses that support the global education mission starting tenth grade. The course requirements also include four years of foreign language or studying through the fourth level. For the travel component, participants need to be involved in another culture that is either domestic or abroad. For example, Ms. Siemon said that certain hours of community service spent in a Brazilian community in the Boston area would serve the purpose. At the end, students will need to reflect upon their experience and turn in their journals.

Programs that directly support the global education mission are the ninth-grade Skills Course and tenth-grade Forum on Community Service. In the eleventh grade, participants will focus on the environment through a Green Team or Sustainability program, and seniors will focus on problem solving in a minor course seminar that would have a Spring Senior Project component, according to the “Components of the Certificate.”

As Ms. Siemon has started introducing the program in the ninth-grade Skills Course and has enrolled the freshman class in the Schoology page, many students have shown interest. Amanda Sax ’18 said that the chances to travel and to touch on different aspects of a culture “sound interesting.” In fact, her family is planning to travel to Greece during the summer, said Sax, and she will get to experience things she wouldn’t normally see or do. Janice Chan ’16, although she is already an international student, said that she felt “very unfortunate” about not having this opportunity when she was a freshman, because she would have “strongly considered doing this program as another motivation to push through these years.”

As the year moves on, the faculty on the committee of the Global Scholarship Program will continue to add more details and opportunities to the program. Those who are already past their freshman year are also welcomed to join in global activities, even without the promise of a Certificate.

Photo: Last year’s parade of flags during International Week.

Comments are closed.