The Columbia Global Scholars Program (GSP)offers highly motivated students a new opportunity to investigate global issues through the perspective of Paris/Europe. GSP students will be motivated to delve into other societies and cultures as they pursue their own projects, challenged to test their own goals against other peoples’ educational and intellectual systems, and supported to develop a range of research, language, and networking skills to help them in this innovative intellectual endeavor.
The program, the first of its kind at Columbia, is now recruiting students. The pilot program begins the second semester of academic year 2011–2012 at Columbia Global Centers/Europe at Reid Hall. Students spend the spring semester of their Junior year plus the following summer based at Reid Hall and living in the International Student Houses, located nearby and offering group activities, shared meals, and other contact with local student life. In addition to participating in the Master Class, co-taught by the resident Columbia faculty member in cooperation with leading foreign scholars, and attending classes in the French University system with tutor support, students conduct their own research projects. This research, under the immediate supervision of the instructor of the Master Class, is co-directed by their Columbia advisor and a local specialist. Students begin their projects during the spring term of 2012, continue work on them over the summer, and, in the early fall, present their research to faculty and students back at Columbia in the framework of the Columbia Global Centers. In most cases, the Global Scholars project will evolve into a senior thesis. In the year after graduation, GSP helps interested students obtain internships abroad on issues related to their research and professional interests, forming a kind of fifth year of study.
To apply, students need a formal Advisor from their departmental or interdisciplinary major or area of concentration. The Advisor will help the student establish contacts with appropriate specialists and research facilities while in Europe, and will, in consultation with the faculty member teaching the Master Class, award the grade for the research project after it has been formally presented in the early fall of the student’s senior year. In addition to the Master Class (spring and summer), which will be considered equivalent to two semesters of seminar work, students will take additional courses at French universities.
The Master Class is organized around themes related to the Core Research Project which for 2011-2013 is “Inequality/ies.” Thereby students will also be interacting with Columbia faculty engaged in their own research on related issues and bringing their global networks to Paris.
Applicants from all disciplines and undergraduate schools are welcome, in the expectation that all will want to engage with the conceptual framework and multi-disciplinary focus while developing their own disciplinary interests and building a range of language, research, archival, new media, expository, and other skills needed to develop new knowledge.
The program is bi-lingual, and although the research can be conducted in whatever languages are appropriate (including English), applicants are expected to have enough fluency to work in the French academic milieu by January 2012. Scholarship support is available for intensive study in Summer 2011, as well as for the program abroad, extending through the 2012 summer.