Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is a Living-Learning Program?

The University of Maryland recognizes that students learn both in and outside of the classroom and living-learning programs are an innovative way that the university is extending learning beyond the classroom. Through living and learning programs, students are offered the opportunity to build community through common learning. By offering specialized programming, co-curricular experiences, and interactions with UMD faculty and staff; living learning programs provide a supportive academic community focused on student success.  


2. What is Global Communities?

The University of Maryland's Global Communities (GC) is a two-year living-learning program in the College of Behavioral and Social Science (BSOS) with a focus on globalization and global issues. Students that accept their invitation become part of a close-knit academic community committed to personal, leadership, and academic growth. Through academic courses and co-curricular experiences (ie: excursions, internships, study abroad, etc.) students develop meaningful relationships with individuals from a wide-range of cultural backgrounds, an understanding of the global issues that shape our world, and the skills needed to become today and tomorrow’s changemakers.


3. What are the benefits of participating in Global Communities? 

There are many benefits to participating in a living learning program. Some of these include*:

  • higher academic self-confidence

  • Successful and steady progress toward degree

  • More likely to mentor other students

  • Higher levels of engagement throughout college

  • Build lasting friendships

  • Develop relationships with staff and faculty

Some GC specific benefits include:

  • Provide students with a unique way to satisfy general education requirements with GC faculty and their GC peers.

  • Develop meaningful relationships with faculty and staff who can support you with internship and fellowship searches,  and write letters of recommendations

  • Participating in an academic experience that focuses on developing problem-solving skills and collaborating with individuals from diverse backgrounds; qualities that future employers value 


4. Is participating in Global Communities more work?

Not at all! All of the courses offered by Global Communities fulfil General Education requirements that every student at the university must complete. Global Communities provides students the opportunity to take those courses with GC faculty and their peers. Additionally, students have the freedom to select among many Global Experience options and are encouraged to choose one that fits their academic and professional interests.


5. How many students participate in Global Communities? 

Each year, GC admits a cohort of 60-75 students. This means that at any given time, we have about 120-150 actively participating in the program.


6. What happens after you complete the program? 

After successfully completing all the program  requirements (typically at the end of a student’s sophomore year), students receive an academic notation on their transcript. Students also become part of the Global Communities alumni network, which allows them to remain connected to program and students. As alum, they can continue to attend GC events and mentor current GC students.


7. Where do students live? 

All first year GC students live in and take their GC classes in Dorchester Hall, located in North Campus across the street from the STAMP Student Union and minutes away from McKeldin Library. Second year GC students are welcome to reapply to live in Dorchester, but can also opt to live in another housing accommodation of their choice.


8. How do I apply for housing?

All  first-year students who accept their GC invitation, must also apply to live on campus.  Students must complete the Housing/Dining Services Agreement by May 1 to be eligible to live on campus. The housing agreement can be found at Residential Life.

Students in Global Communities are able to make roommate requests using the Campus Housing Portal (scroll down to "Housing Requests"). Please note that roommate requests are not guaranteed.

9. Is Global Communities only open to students who opt to live on campus? 
As a living-learning program, Global Communities seeks to create an environment where students can live, learn, and grow together; making the residential component a cornerstone of the GC experience. If you wish to discuss circumstances that may make it difficult for you to live on campus, please contact the Global Communities program so that we may discuss your particular circumstances. Note that students cannot enroll in the program and live somewhere else on campus.
10. Am I required to participate in Global Communities if I receive an invitation?
Students are not required to accept their invitation to the program, even if they decide to attend UMD. No action is required on the part of the student to decline their invitation. 

*Reference: Brower, A.M. & Inkelas, K.K. (2010). Living-learning programs: One high-impact educational practice we know a lot about. Liberal Education, 96(2), 36-43.