Summer 2023 Courses


GSVS 3110: Sustainable Communities

May 22 - June 2 | 10 am - 3 pm
Tessa Farmer

This course is offered every year as part of the Morven Summer Institute (see link here:; this is a 10 day course running from 5/22 - 6/2.

GSGS 2010: Global Commerce in Culture

Session III | 10 am - 3 pm
Laura Goldblatt

A liberal arts perspective on commerce, or business, as a part of modern American (and global) culture.


UVA in Greece: Odyssey in the Anthropocene

Inspired by Homeric poems and Odysseus’ travels, as well as current sustainability challenges in the Aegean, this experiential learning and sailing program introduces students to both past and present ways of life in Athens, the Saronic and Argolic Gulf islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetses, Dhokos, and the Peloponnese peninsula. Greece offers unique environmental and cultural resources to support student learning about changing human-environmental relations, culture, and settlement patterns from antiquity to the Anthropocene. 

In the process of passing one of the EU’s most ambitious climate laws, Greece plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions 55% by 2030 and intends to be fully net zero by 2050. Ten types of single-use plastic products were banned in 2021, 12% of electricity demand is generated by wind turbines and 7% by solar, and sustainable water initiatives are underway. Greening its’ 200 inhabited islands will create Europe’s largest network of sustainable off-grid communities. While most current development consumes vast amounts of water and energy, traditional Greek settlements and buildings were simply, effectively, and beautifully designed for their specific climate and provide important sustainability lessons.  

In ancient Greece important settlements were connected by water. The ocean was a divinity and source of all seas, rivers, and streams. From it rose the sun and dawn, the constellations, and in it they set. Students will experience the Greek islands more akin to how Odysseus saw them—from the sea in sailing vessels. For two weeks we will live aboard 45 to 50 foot monohull yachts and sail with highly experienced, professional Greek skippers from Poros-based Greek Sails and Profs. Crisman and Petrus, who also skipper yachts in Greece. Sailing offers a sustainable way to travel by harnessing wind energy, while managing limited water supplies, wind and solar energy, and waste reduction strategies. Lectures, reading discussions, research reports, visits to significant sites, and cultural exchanges with Greek locals will provide opportunities for students to gain valuable knowledge and experiences. Daily academic field journal entries will require students to reflect on their learning. 

For more information:

UVA in India: Global Public Health with SEWA

The Community-based Learning and Practice (CLAP) program is the product of an ongoing partnership between the Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA) and Global Studies at the University of Virginia. The CLAP program is a fourteen-day public health practicum run out of the SEWA office in Ahmedabad, Gujrat that promotes learning through exposure to grassroots public health work among SEWA's women workers and their families.

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UVA in Vietnam: Hanoi's Hong River: Development, Climate, and Rights to the City

Study in Hanoi this summer 2023 with Vietnamese students and local experts. We will be exploring and developing applied, action-oriented research related to plans to redevelop a 40-km stretch of the Hong (or Red) River running through the capital city of Hanoi.

Multidisciplinary teams will tackle issues related to the ecology, social and political dynamics, the economy, and even the geopolitics of this complex system. We are looking for students with diverse interests, backgrounds, and skills from across the University. Virginia students will join with counterparts from Vietnam National University for a truly cross-cultural learning experience. Together, we’ll learn and use GIS, systems modeling, and other quantitative and qualitative research methods. Instructors include UVA and VNU professors, and local practitioners (architects, NGO leaders, and community development experts).

For more information:

UVA in Capetown: Public Health Advocacy and Community Organizing in South Africa

The aim of this program is to provide students a mentored experience in the practice of public health advocacy, learning valuable skills though engagement with a local organization focused on addressing issues of broad public health concern in a community setting in Cape Town.

Students will work in groups with local mentors to develop and present projects that will be useful in the local context. While activities will be carried out primarily in English, the program will also provide students with a rapid but intensive introduction to isiXhosa, one of the local African languages in Cape Town.

For more information:



GSGS 3220 – Making Culture Visible
Summer Session 2023 | Virtual
Catarina Krizancic

“Making Culture Visible” is an asynchronous, short summer course that deepens education abroad, helping students reach the full potential of what can be a transformational learning experience. Its goal is to support students’ projects with participant observation, reflection, and narrative construction on the cross-cultural learning that comes from doing research or service in other countries. We use students’ direct experience and the work and exploration they already plan to make as the basis of our work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of GSGS3220?

GSGS3220 is a one-credit course designed to support students who undertake an immersive research, service, or internship project abroad in the summer. Grounded in ethnographic method, it focuses on three skillsets that are key to being effective in cross-cultural work, regardless of discipline: observation, understanding, and communication.

When is GSGS3220 offered?

GSGS3220 is offered during Summer Sessions I, II, and III. However, each student develops a personal schedule for assignments in collaboration with the instructor, based on the exact dates when they will be abroad.

How do I enroll?

Students receiving University funding for an internship, research, or service project abroad will automatically be enrolled as part of their award in May. Summer 2023 tuition is $412 for Virginia residents and $537 for non-Virginia residents and is billed to your SIS account.

Who is my instructor? How is the course delivered? How will I be graded?

Sections and instructors are assigned in May, and you can expect to receive a welcome email with further course details and a syllabus at that time. The course is delivered as a remote, coaching dialogue while students are abroad and does not meet as a class or in person. GSGS3220 is one credit and graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.

Is GSGS3220 required? Can it count towards my major? What do graduate students do?

GSGS3220 is required for any undergraduate who receives research, service, or internship awards from the Office of the Provost (and its reporting units) and who will be abroad consecutively for three or more weeks. It is an elective and does not count towards any of the Global Studies major track requirements. Graduate and professional students are not required to take GSGS3220.

What does the course title mean?

The title refers to a statement about the effects of culture shock by the late anthropologist Roy Wanger. It reflects how the course is grounded in theory despite its practical assignments.

Culture is made visible by culture-shock, by subjecting oneself to situations beyond one’s normal interpersonal competence and objectifying the discrepancy as an entity
– Roy Wagner (1977)

What if I have questions?

For other questions about GSGS3220, contact the instructor directly.






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