Advising for a Global Education

Understanding perspectives that are different from one’s own, solidifying language proficiencies, and cultivating intercultural capacities like self-awareness and empathy are crucial goals of a Wesleyan education in today’s complex yet interdependent world. We encourage advisors to reflect with their advisees on these questions:

  • Why are global perspectives important to you, now and in the future?
  • What options are available to help you develop deeper and more nuanced global knowledge and capacities?
  • What should I do now so that these options are available to me later on?

The following ideas and resources should help prepare you and your advisees to answer these questions.

Options and Resources

  • Languages: In today's world, knowing a language other than English is an essential asset for students in any course of study, and Wesleyan is a great place to learn languages, with many options, high-level instruction, and fun language-related extracurriculars. This is why 61% of current students study at least one language, despite there being no language requirement. 
    • Incoming students go through an interactive “Academic Roadmap” before arriving on campus, part of which is devoted to language learning. Students specify which languages they might be interested in starting new or continuing. Advisors can access this information by clicking on the “Roadmap” link in their advisee list.
    • This Languages FAQ summarizes each of our language offerings in one place.
    • In addition to classroom language study, we also offer individualized study of other languages, and CLAC courses that use non-English languages in instruction.
  • A study abroad experience fully integrated into the liberal arts curriculum is among the best ways of deepening global perspectives, and it is regularly identified by students as one of the most impactful aspects of their Wesleyan experience. Students should remember that:
  • The Fries Center maintains a list of academic units with an area studies focus as well as a page noting the ways that many of our academic units de-center Europe as they seek to offer more balanced, global perspectives. We also host the Global Engagement Minor, which is designed to complement any major.
  • The Office of International Student Affairs maintains many resources for international students that may also be generative for thinking about global perspectives.

What Now

  • First-year course planning determines what options for study abroad and other pathways will be available later on. Due to Wesleyan’s strict Foreign Language Policy for study abroad and to prerequisites set by many individual programs, first-year students are strongly urged to continue their language studies, in either the language studied previously or a new language. Students intending to begin a new language should do so immediately.