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Penn Global Seminar courses for the 2024-2025 school year have been announced. Credit: Eric Zeng

Penn Abroad announced 18 Penn Global Seminar courses for the 2024-25 school year, adding new offerings that will travel to countries including Brazil, Malawi, and Bulgaria. 

The new courses for next year span five continents and a wide variety of disciplines, from engineering to foreign policy. These include "Global Jewish Communities," "Bicycles: The Mechanical Advantage," "Science Accessibility in India," "European Foreign and Security Policy in Times of Crisis," "Perspectives in Afro-Luso-Brazilian Culture," "Global Aging — Challenges and Opportunities," "Policy Task Force on U.S.-China Relations," "Global Business Communication for Impact," and "Before Netflix: The Past and Present of Latin American Television."

Penn Global Seminars are a general classification of courses that contain a travel component. Associate Director of Penn Abroad Arielle Schweber said that the travel portion aims to deepen students' understanding of topics discussed in the classroom. 

“One of PGS’ goals is to travel to destinations that we are typically underrepresented in study abroad,” Schweber said. “This year, we were thrilled to receive proposals from faculty to travel to new locations.”

One new offering, “Bicycles: The Mechanical Advantage," is the first course in collaboration with Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science that also has an Academically Based Community Service designation through the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Students will learn about bicycle design and develop practical skills, culminating in a trip to the Netherlands over spring break. 

Another new course is “Global Jewish Communities,” taught by Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Endowed Term Professor in the Humanities Peter Decherney and senior lecturer in Critical Writing Sara Byala. Students will learn about the history of the Abayudaya — a Jewish community in Uganda — and spend time engaging with community members over winter break. 

“In Uganda, we will partner with members of the Abayudaya communities to amplify their stories through short video profiles,” Decherney said. “The videos will also be easily shareable through social media, empowering the Abayudaya and others to disseminate the videos that they make with us.”

Another new course offering is “Policy Task Force on U.S.-China Relations'' taught by Penn Project on the Future of U.S.-China Relations Director Neysun Mahboubi. Students will develop policy recommendations for United States-China relations in coordination with students at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

According to Mahboubi, the course’s goal is to contribute to discussions of “U.S.-China [policy] in meaningful and substantive ways” by writing “policy papers that are workshopped on campus and then presented in the fall to policymakers in DC.” 

Other destinations for PGS courses next year include the United Kingdom, Mexico, Egypt, Italy, and India. Financial aid can be applied to the flat fee of $950 for the travel component. Applications for the fall 2024 offerings will close April 8.