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The Department of Anthropology’s new sequence of engaged learning courses is designed to give students the opportunity to prepare for and make the most of all types of engaged learning and study abroad opportunities at Cornell. The first course introduces students to the principles of engaged learning and provides opportunities to participate in service learning projects in the Ithaca community. The second course is a pre-departure course to prepare students studying abroad. The third course is a post-departure course where students reflect on their experiences.

In these courses, students will engage with the diverse community on campus in Ithaca, hone the anthropological skills needed for intercultural communication and reflection, and develop an ePortfolio to share what they have learned from their experiences. Students will learn from each other in workshops and small group activities, providing new avenues for exchange and feedback.

The courses are designed as part of a sequence in Engaged Learning, so that students can build on their skills and revise their ePortfolios as they progress. But students are welcome to take just one or two courses as well. Students from all colleges and interested in all types of programs and topics are welcome. You do not have to be an anthropology student to take these courses. This sequence of courses also counts towards the new Anthropology minor in Global Engagement.


ANTHR 1900: Global Engagements:  Living and Working in a Diverse World

4 credits - Fall 2017

Intended for first-year and second-year students interested in experiential learning

Course description:

The path to global citizenship begins with a facility in navigating cultural difference. How do we engage with communities, whether here in Ithaca or across the globe, whose pasts and present understandings are fundamentally different than our own? This course is designed to help students bring global engaged learning into their Cornell education. It introduces skills vital to engaging cultural difference, including participant-observation research, ethnographic writing, and the habits of critical reflexivity. The course emphasizes strategies for understanding others and grappling with one’s own identity. Students will conduct projects with service learning placements in the Ithaca community. This course is followed by ANTHR 3901 and ANTHR 3902.


ANTHR 3901: Going Global: Preparing for Engaged Learning

2 credits - second half of Fall 2017 semester

Intended for students departing on study abroad programs (or other engaged learning programs) in the spring or summer

Course description:

So you’re enrolled in an upcoming study abroad program! Now what? How can you make the most of your global or engaged learning experience? This half-semester course is intended to prepare students departing on all types of engaged learning experiences or study abroad programs. The course provides the opportunity to refine the tools that enable provide the foundation for successful cross-cultural encounters, including participant-observation research, ethnographic writing, and habits of critical reflexivity. Students will prepare for their departure by researching the culture and history of their placement. Students will also consider how to succeed in a foreign academic environment by engaging with the diverse community on the Cornell campus. This course builds on ANTHR 1900 and is followed by ANTHR 3902.


ANTHR 3902: Coming Home: Making the Most of Engaged Experiences

2 credits - first half of Fall 2017 semester

Intended for students returning to campus from study abroad programs (or other engaged learning programs)

Course description:

How has your study abroad program shaped you, and what will you take from that experience going forward? How would you articulate your understanding of global citizenship? This half-semester course is intended for students returning form engaged learning experiences or study abroad programs. It provides a space for critical reflection, and students will draw on their experience to revise writing from previous courses about identity, difference, and navigating cross-cultural encounters. Students will grapple with experiences of cultural dissonance and share their experience with others. They will also contribute to the diverse community on campus and mentor younger students preparing for engaged learning opportunities. This course follows ANTHR 3901.


Questions about these courses?  Contact Hayden Kantor, Postdoctoral Associate for Global Engaged Learning ( for more information.