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New Course Offers Study Abroad Students a Place to Reflect and Move Forward

By Mónica Hernández Williams

A Whitman student looking off into the horizon in Spain.

Whitman College offers many opportunities for students to expand their global learning, on campus and abroad. 

In 2023, Whitman’s Center for Global Studies (CGS) partnered with the college’s Off-Campus Studies Office to launch Global Returns: Critical Engagement after Study Abroad. This course will create a space for the students who participate in any of the more than 80 off-campus study programs to consider and examine their time abroad—what it means to them and our changing world.


This class has been a long time in the making, says Nicole Simek, the Director for Global Studies. Under the directorship of Leena Knight in 2019, faculty and staff from across campus came together to find a way to enrich the impact of students’ transformative experiences around the world. Director of Off-Campus Studies Susan Holme worked with faculty members Aaron Bobrow-StrainRachel George, Erin Pahlke, Jason Pribilsky and Zahi Zalloua to initiate the idea to better serve students. Shampa Biswas also worked with the group to finalize the offering and is the first to teach the course.


We are providing a forum for returning study abroad students to reflect together on the incredible intellectual and personal growth they’ve had while also preparing them to take the knowledge they’ve gained out into the world after graduation,” says Simek, who is also the Cushing Eells Professor of Philosophy and Literature, Professor of Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies and Gender Studies.

“Students discover and develop an intimate connection between their academic learning and the meaningful changes they want to bring about in the world.”

Fast Facts About Off-Campus Studies

Worldwide exploration. Whitman partners with programs in more than 40 countries across the globe. Many students also participate in one of the four U.S. partner programs.

All majors are welcome! Students of any major are encouraged to immerse themselves in another country and culture through study abroad programs, fellowships and research opportunities.


New in 2023! Off-Campus Studies launched a new faculty-led summer Chinese language program.

Unique @ Whitman. Students are encouraged to learn a new language or hone existing language skills by immersing themselves in Whitman’s Interest House Community.

Learn more

Center for Global Studies

Off-Campus Studies

Published on Oct 18, 2023
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