Global Citizenship: What It Means to Me

Great Issues Scholars, a program for first-year students to explore themes of global issues through a series of highly interactive events, is now accepting applications. The program is an opportunity for first year students to learn from faculty, visiting experts, and fellow students. Students leave the program ready to tackle majors, minors, extracurriculars, and internships revolving around the great international issues of our time.

In the GIS application, students are asked what global citizenship means to them. For Joy Shen ’17, a former GIS mentor, this is what global citizenship means and this is why the Great Issues Scholars program exists:

“The idea of global citizenship seems vague and cliché, but if you think about it, it just might be the most revolutionary idea you hear. It means accepting that environmental catastrophes in the Sahel affect us here in Hanover. It means knowing that poverty in rural India is as explicitly tied to our future, probably more so, than our midterms and finals. And it means dealing with the inescapable reality that anything we do on this “pale blue dot” affects all of us.

So how does the Great Issues Scholars program fit into this? It’s easy to scoff at the idea that showing up to a few events every term could truly change the world. But as your mentors, we’re here to not only remind you, but also compel you, to take advantage of the amazing opportunities available to you here. As a member of the Dartmouth community you can make an impact. Look at the Dartmouth for Nepal campaign, which has raised $10,000 and sent a team from the Geisel School of Medicine to the region. Look at a Davis Project for Peace in 2013 that created a sustainable program in Tibet using sheep to fund annual scholarships…

That’s what global citizenship is about. And that’s why we want you to be here today. Because this idea of global citizenship, this idea that has been the impetus for generations of Dartmouth students before you, this revolutionary idea, now belongs to you.”

- Joy Shen, 2014-15 GIS mentor
Excerpt from 2015 GIS Closing Reception remarks

What does global citizenship mean to you? Tell us in the GIS application for 2017-18.