Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Living-Learning Program?
The University of Maryland recognizes that students learn both academically in the classroom, and through experiences and relationships outside of it. Living-learning programs are a proven way to provide an enriched environment that supports both types of learning.* At the University of Maryland, students are invited to explore a common theme by living together in a community, taking relevant courses, and engaging in a variety of activities (lectures, performances, field trips, celebrations) that support the theme. Faculty and staff provide a supportive environment dedicated to developing the academic and social skills for student success.
2. What is Global Communities?
Global Communities is a two-year ten-credit living-learning program that explores trends and debates over globalization and global issues, and introduces skills for intercultural engagement. The program is sponsored by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) but is open to students in all majors. Our students become part of a close-knit and supportive community committed to personal, leadership, and academic growth. We offer custom-designed courses led by program faculty and staff, and organize a wide variety of experiences relevant to a global studies program (for instance, visits to embassies, lectures, performances, and cultural activities). Students develop the knowledge, skills and relationships needed for a 21st century life.
3. What are the benefits of participating in Global Communities?
Supportive community--both friendship/ mentorship of students, and faculty and staff dedicated to your success
Foundation for better learning skills and academic self-confidence
Introduces knowledge and skills, including so-called "soft skills," that employers seek
Required courses provide credit toward University General Education requirements
Program complements any major and provides a broader perspective to those in intensive degree programs
Engage with students from diverse backgrounds from both the US and abroad
Requires a "global experience" course to engage directly with issues and people and learn by doing
Student leadership opportunities available through the Global Communities Student Association
Develop meaningful relationships with faculty and staff who advise on college and career, provide contacts and letters of support
Build lasting friendships and become part of an extensive alumni network
Experience unique events, field trips, and activities that expand your perspective on the world--and are fun!
4. Is participating in Global Communities more work?
Not at all! The courses offered by Global Communities fulfil General Education requirements--these are University requirements that every student must complete. You are not necessarily adding credits to your university program. We give you the opportunity to fulfill those requirements in classes taught by our faculty, and which you take together with other Global Communities students. We do require students to complete a "global experience" course such as study abroad, an internship class, or service-learning--but we provide a variety of options to fit diverse academic and professional interests.
5. How many students participate in Global Communities?
Each year, we aim to admit a cohort of approximately 75 students, for a total of 150 students.
6. What happens after you complete the program?
Students are encouraged to complete the program by the end of their sophomore year, submitting a capstone project in the final semester. You will then receive an academic notation on your transcript. Graduates of the program become part of the Global Communities alumni network, which includes opportunities to continue to attend our events and mentor current students.
7. Where do students live?
All first year GC students must live in Dorchester Hall, a small traditional residence hall thoroughly renovated in 2018. It is centrally located near the Adele Stamp Student Union, McKeldin Library, and many bus routes. Second year students are welcome to apply to live in Dorchester, but can also opt to live in the wide variety of other housing options in the area.
8. How do I apply for housing?
All first-year students who accept their invitation to Global Communities must also apply to live on campus. Students must complete the Housing/Dining Services Agreement by May 1 to be eligible. The housing agreement can be found at Residential Life.
You can 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?
10. If I receive an invitation to Global Communities am I required to enroll in it?
*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.