Office of Global Citizenship
The Office of Global Citizenship is the hub for Sewanee’s global engagement activities. Its main functions are to help international students to comply with U.S. immigration policies and laws, help international faculty to obtain required immigration papers and comply with immigration policies and laws, oversee the development and operation of study abroad programs, advise students on study abroad programs, and globalize campus life.
The Office serves as the center for promoting study abroad. To help Sewanee faculty learn how to lead study abroad programs, the Office holds meetings to explain policies, discuss best practices such as risk mitigation, and foster meeting goals related to global citizenship. For students, the office provides information sessions about study abroad, one-on-one advice on choosing appropriate programs, and manages the internal aspects of the study abroad application, including study abroad agreements, leave of absence forms, and screening forms. Students apply directly to study abroad programs online.
As part of their work as global citizens, Sewanee students and faculty address global problems such as climate change, sustainable development, community development, public health, and peaceful relations across cultures, races, and classes. Sewanee has established partnerships in several countries where students take part in projects that blend research, practical/vocational training, and community outreach. For example, the Sewanee's Haiti Institute involves a multi-faceted engagement with a community. Faculty and students promote community development by working with local farmers to cultivate coffee, measure carbon sequestration in the coffee trees, and depict the community through photography and videography. For more about the Sewanee Haiti Institute, follow this link. In Uganda and Tanzania, Sewanee students and faculty pursue collaborative research projects with faculty at St. John's University (Tanzania), and engage local communities through internships with non-governmental organizations. In the summer 2016, Sewanee sent twelve students to Uganda and Tanzania to intern with organizations that advocate for women's rights, provide assistance and education to AIDS carriers and their children, prevent river blindness, and advocate for albinos. A news article summarizes the students' experiences and Sewanee's deepening ties to Uganda and Tanzania are described. Closer to home, Sewanee students are assisting nearby communities in gaining access to healthcare, persist in their educational advancement, develop sustainable practices to preserve the environment, and address social inequity.
The Office works with a number of student groups to provide activities that spread knowledge and appreciation of cultures around the world, especially those of our international students. For example, the Organization for Cross-Cultural Understanding (OCCU) hosts potluck suppers and other events that introduce foreign cuisines and cultures to the community. These events facilitate dialogue among students, faculty, staff, and community residents about the lives of people around the world. More generally, the Office supports lectures and events on campus that raise awareness of global problems and foster understanding of various cultures and challenges faced by populations around the world.