Developed in 2005 by Karen P. DePauw (Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education), the Global Perspectives Program (GPP) is a one-of-a-kind graduate student experience offered through Virginia Tech’s educational facility in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. GPP is an example of a program through which Virginia Tech graduate students participate in an integrated study-at-home (GRAD 5104 and GRAD 5114) and study abroad (GPP) curriculum to better prepare them to succeed as future faculty members and global citizens. This program is an integral part of the Transformative Graduate Education (TGE) initiative offered through the Graduate School.

The Global Perspectives Program enables graduate students to examine differences in academic practices and to develop innovative and effective approaches that foster international awareness and education. During the trip, participants gather firsthand knowledge about global higher education through (a) visits to a diverse array of universities, (b) discussions with various faculty, administrators, and students, and (c) dialogue among GPP participants.

To be eligible for the Global Perspectives Program, graduate students must successfully complete GRAD 5104 (Preparing the Future Professoriate) and GRAD 5114 (Pedagogical Practices in Contemporary Contexts). Students who have taken one of these courses and are enrolled in the other course for the spring semester are also eligible for consideration. In early November of each year, a call for applications is issued by Karen DePauw. Applications require name, degree sought, progress toward degree completion, and dates of completion (or future enrollment) for GRAD 5104 and GRAD 5114.

Applicants are also asked to provide an essay articulating their reasons for pursuing the GPP experience and how such an experience is relevant to their aspirations as a future faculty member. Letters of recommendation are neither necessary nor desired.

Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education Karen P. DePauw reviews the applications and makes selections by early January. Those students selected are required to attend triweekly seminars during the spring semester. If interested, participants can receive course credit by enrolling in graduate level study abroad course (GRAD 5954). In order to minimize out-of-pocket expenses and make GPP accessible option for all graduate students, the majority GPP expenses are covered by the Graduate School. Further trip details are shared with participants after the group is selected and the itinerary is finalized.

The Global Perspectives Program enables graduate students to examine differences in academic practices and to develop innovative and effective approaches that foster international awareness and education. During the trip, participants gather firsthand knowledge about global higher education through (a) visits to a diverse array of universities, (b) discussions with various faculty, administrators, and students, and (c) dialogue among GPP participants.

 

Learn more about GPP on Facebook, Twitter (@GPPVT), and Storify. Find photos on Flickr and videos on YouTube.