Global Scholars Program for Undergraduates

Columbia University Global Scholars Program Summer Research Workshop is a joint three-year pilot program initiated by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, in collaboration with Columbia Global Centers, the Office of Global Programs, and the Institute of Latin America Studies. The goal of the workshop is to offer Columbia University undergraduate students the opportunity to gain first-hand research experience, in collaboration with Columbia faculty, in subjects of transnational importance from a comparative perspective across several locations.

The Global Scholars Program offers highly motivated students a new opportunity to investigate global issues through a global perspective. The scholars 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.

Global Scholars Programs in 2014

The 2014 Global Scholars Program – “Contemporary Cities of Eurasia: Berlin, Moscow, Ulan Bator, Beijing” – will be launched by the Harriman Institute and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, in partnership with Columbia Global Centers | East Asia and the Office of Global Programs. This four-week summer workshop will take students through Berlin, Moscow, Ulan Bator and Beijing, including a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Beijing, where they will focus on the theme of “Socialist and Post-Socialist Cities of Eurasia.”

Students will explore the histories, cultures, built environments and lived spaces of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Mongolia and China through travel and site visits to major cities of the Eastern Bloc. Sample workshop activities include discussion with a city planning expert in Berlin, an architectural tour of Moscow, and visits to media outlets in Beijing. Leading this exciting study abroad opportunity will be Columbia History Professor Charles Armstrong and Barnard College Professor Catharine Nepomnyashchy from the Slavic Department. For more information, please click here.

Kathleen Kuever, program coordinator, Weatherhead East Asian Institute,
Lydia Hamilton, program manager, the Harriman Institute,


Global Scholars Programs in 2013
Thirteen competitively selected undergraduates spent three weeks this summer in Beijing, China, and three weeks in Santiago, Chile, as part of the 2013 Columbia University Global Scholars Program Summer Research Workshop. During the program, students studied social science research methods and conducted in-depth research on the evolution of China and Chile’s political and economic system.

This year, the program expanded into Latin America, with the support of Columbia Global Centers | Latin America (Santiago). Faculty directors Professor Zhang Xiaodan, a sociologist, and Professor Pablo Pinto, a political scientist, guided the students during an in-country research study and workshop on the theme of "Pathways to Development."

Staff at the Beijing Center worked closely with Weatherhead, the faculty director, and local partners to plan and execute the program's China portion. During the three weeks, the group had the chance to visit a wide range of state-owned and private enterprises, non-profit educational organizations, business councils, state-level government entities, local village governments, and academic institutes; and participated in diverse guest lectures hosted by Center, featuring local experts in the fields of China's labor study, product quality legislation, migrant work, China's economic growth, China-Latin America relations, and doing business in China.

The group was joined by six host students from Peking University for some of the activities. Center Director Joan Kaufman and program staff accompanied the group on their visits. For the first time, staff from Santiago and Beijing accompanied the Scholars in both countries in order to observe the program's operations in each other's site.

Meet the 2013 Scholars

Meet the 2013 Faculty and Teaching Assistants

2013 Program China Activities Summary

For more information, please visit

Global Scholars Programs in 2012
In 2012, this five-credit course was inaugurated in summer by Professor Guobin Yang, a sociologist of China, and Columbia Professor Robert Barnett, a political scientist and historian of Tibet. Professors Yang and Barnett guided a cohort of eleven competitively selected undergraduates during a six-week, in-country research study and workshop on the inaugural theme of Environment and Urbanization in Asia. The program ran from June 10 to July 21, 2012 and research was conducted in Beijing, Shanghai, and Mumbai.

Meet the 2012 Scholars

Meet the 2012 Faculty

Meet the 2012 Teaching Assistants

2012 Program Activities Summary