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Penn Abroad has announced new Penn Global Seminars for the 2023-2024 academic year. Credit: Vanessa Huang

Penn Abroad announced 18 Penn Global Seminars for the 2023-2024 academic year, providing students with the opportunity to travel to countries such as Chile, the Galapagos Islands, and Botswana. 

New Penn Global Seminars offered next year include "Writing Health and Healing in Botswana"; "Palermo: Empires, Migrations, and Mafia"; "Spain: From Civil War to Post-Francoism, 1930-2020"; "Tourism, Sustainability and Local Impact in Indonesia"; "Korean Language & Culture (Elementary II and Intermediate II)"; "Sacred Stuff: Religious Bodies, Places, and Objects"; "Chinese Language (Intermediate II and Advanced Modern II)"; "American Race: A Philadelphia Story"; and "Exploring the Business Environment in China."

According to Arielle Schweber, associate director for Penn Abroad, Penn Global Seminars “allow students to have the opportunity to have a meaningful global experience but on a short term travel component, over the course of a semester.” 

Professor Sara Byala, an instructor for "Writing Health and Healing in Botswana," said that the goal of the seminars is to use travel as a means to deepen understanding of a certain subject. While her writing seminar includes a travel component, she said her class will still focus on core writing components such as "audience, genre, and rhetoric." 

“Penn has a two-decade long relationship with hospitals and medical centers in Botswana. The purpose of this course is to explore this institutional connection and what it reveals about the transfer of medical knowledge between the global north and south," Byala said. 

Professor Domenic Vitiello explained that his course, "Palermo: Empires, Migrations, and Mafia" will delve into the politics of immigration including topics such the mafia, human trafficking, the legal system, economic experiences, and housing markets. 

“As an Urban Studies professor, I am committed to immersing students in the places and communities we study,” he said.

Students in "American Race: A Philadelphia Story" will be exploring racial struggles in Philadelphia and the United States as a whole, and connecting them to the experiences of marginalized communities in Greece. 

“We will be adding an international component by traveling to Greece, and thinking about how race and racialization is understood with the refugee community there,” professor Fariha Khan, the co-director of the Asian American Studies Program and faculty leader for the course, said. 

"Case Studies in Environmental Sustainability," taught by professor Alain Plante, will focus on students completing case studies on issues of renewable energy, conservation policies, and the electrification of vehicles. The course will culminate in traveling to Iceland for 10 days to see how these issues unfold firsthand. 

Plante explains how Iceland is the perfect location for students to explore landscape elements like glaciers and volcanoes, as well as environmental policies and social attitudes.

“I try to make the course accessible to a wide range of students with a number of different interests,” Plante said. “We actually cover the entire South Coast and we're visiting multiple locations, multiple institutions, universities, [and] research centers.” 

According to Nigel Cossar, executive director for Penn Abroad, Penn Global Seminars are a great opportunity for students who may not be able to study abroad for a full semester. Schweber also added that financial aid can be applied to the $950 flat fee for the program.

The fall 2023 global seminar applications closed on April 3, and spring 2024 applications will open in time for advance registration next fall.