Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6 Standards for a Global Student

When students are asked: “what does it mean to be a global student?” answers vary:

“Speaking more than two languages”, “Being aware of international news and issues”, “Traveling to different countries”, “Interact with different cultural groups”
I was always very curious to know the answer, if there is any. There has been a lot of debate within the college of Business and economics at Whitewater about the importance of having global students who consider themselves to be global citizens. In an era where globalization takes a different meaning involving different aspects of our everyday life, thinking globally has become a priority. Globalization 3.0 is the title given by Thomas Friedman to the type of globalization we are experiencing today. It simply means the involvement of individuals rather than companies. The main axis becomes the individual, or the global citizen.
After attending the lecture of Dr. Choton Basu about “Developing the Globally Aware Individuals”, I could understand better what is expected from students in order to meet the standards of the “globally aware citizen”, I list them in 6 categories:
  • Communication: Developing global communication skills, not only speaking more than two languages but also being able to have an intercultural communication.
  • Economy: Understanding the importance of the interconnectedness of the global economy.
  • Politics: Being politically aware, meaning being able to link between the political decision-making and the global economy.
  • Technology: Knowing the importance of technology in linking businesses, nations and individuals.
  • Society: Understand the different cultures, beliefs, and religions and know their impact on the national and international decisions through organization like the UN (United Nations), IMF (International monetary fund), WB (world bank)..etc
  • History/geography: Being aware of the history of nations and being knowledgeable of the geography. History and geography, although listed last, are an important component of globalization that enables individuals to understand the actual issues, agreements, and decisions made today on the national and international level.
The list might not be complete but it represents the closest answer I could get to the question of “what it means to be a global student?” As mentioned before, there might be no definite answer. I think this is the most exciting trait of globalization, it is a phenomenon of ongoing progress and change and it is absurd to restrict its definition in time and in meaning. I hope more students start analyzing this question and find their own answers, as I’m sure they will vary once again.

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