In 1991, a group of students received approval from the University to organize a new International House in Dorchester Hall to bring together international and domestic students at the University. Students organized events that encouraged cross-cultural understanding including the first Cultural Explosion in 1992—a showcase of international students' talents and a tradition that continues to this day.

The International House formally joined other living-learning programs in 2001 as a global competencies program and changed its name to Global Communities in 2002. Courses and programming focused on intercultural communication skills. It brought together international and domestic students, exchange students and transfer students, from all disciplines and cultural backgrounds.

With the launch of the university's Global Studies program in 2011 the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences partnered with the Provost to sponsor a stronger global studies program headed by an academic Director. The program expanded in size, staff, resources and ambition. Global Communities became an invitation-only program for academically talented students. It combines the existing program’s focus on developing intercultural sensitivity with new interdisciplinary courses on globalization and global issues.


Global Communities is a vital element of the University’s vision for education in the 21st century. We introduce students to the knowledge and skills (intellectual and social) to empower them to take advantage of opportunities and wrestled with challenges related to globalization. We value diversity—cultural, intellectual, and ideological—and seek to provide a welcoming place where differences can be shared and openly discussed. We aim to provide an integrated experience to help students develop the global perspective that will enable them to navigate an ever more interconnected and diverse world.


  • develop knowledge and critical analysis skills about globalization and global issues through scholarship and experience

  • foster social skills to facilitate engagement and empathy with people from different backgrounds and beliefs

  • build an inclusive community to support success in college and in life

  • prepare for life and work in an interconnected world


  • Scholarship: We value an analytical approach to understanding the extent and limits of globalization and to consider just and effective solutions to global problems

  • Experience: We see real-life experience--on campus, in the surrounding community, and abroad--as a complement to scholarship

  • Self-Reflection: We encourage students to explore their own identities and cultures within a global context

  • Community: We promote a welcoming, respectful, diverse, and open-minded community

Last modified
01/14/2021 - 10:21 am