Over the past year we at The College of Global Studies have introduced required courses for students studying at our overseas centers. Here, Andrew George, Arcadia’s Regional Director for UK and Ireland programs, highlights how these Cornerstone Courses impact students at the London Center in Bloomsbury.
Arcadia’s required Cornerstone Courses in London are designed to give a focal point to our students’ studies and to ensure that they have the opportunity to engage with our core faculty members – our senior lecturers – all of whom have been part of the Arcadia academic team for a number of years, working closely with U.S. study abroad students.
Our senior lecturers breathe academic life into the Center through their contributions in the classroom and also through orientations, academic tours, our Talk of the Town lecture series and their support of students through the Center’s Academic Writing Center.
Each of our cornerstone courses is designed to meet the interests and needs of distinct groups of students. Interns follow our long standing Work in Thought and Action course, building the bridge between experience in the workplace and academic study via a research paper.
Participants in our first year programs have a specifically designed cornerstone, Showcasing The Nation, which introduces them to concepts of national identity and nationhood whilst developing college-level skills in constructing arguments, finding evidence, and presenting findings in writing as well as through oral presentation.
Instructor Dr. Richard Maguire at the Arcadia London Center explains: “Showcasing the Nation gives the student an opportunity to visit sites which promote values of Britishness. For instance, in amidst the statues of war heroes in Trafalgar Square there is a giant thumb designed by artist David Shrigley. Is this a thumbs-up to Britain's colonial history, or is it an ironic gesture in the face of Brexit? Through readings and visits the students will be able to articulate the paradoxes of Britishness.”
Participants in the Arcadia in London programs have a choice of two cornerstones: London: Experiencing the Global City; and Imagining London: A Cultural History. A third option, Independent Study: London, will commence in Fall 2018.
Senior Lecturer Dr. Chris McMillan at the Arcadia London Center, says the Experiencing the Global City cornerstone course allows students to breach the traditional bounds of the classroom and “confront London head-on”. He says: “From exploring the ever-changing markets of Brixton to engaging with a walking tour of Camden by our previously homeless guide, this cornerstone course allows students to experience issues of social class, gender, multiculturalism and nationhood in the context of a city that, increasingly, has more in common with the rest of the world than the country of which it is the capital".
All of the cornerstones will extend the participants’ learning beyond the classroom to encourage local engagement with various aspects of British life and culture and will also place the student at the centre of their own learning – particularly so with the independent study course which will give the opportunity for motivated students to develop their own specific area of interest into a research project, supported by a member of our London faculty.