Arcadia Study Abroad Book and Music Clubs
Working from the principle that there is no better way to access a culture than through its literature and stories, The College of Global Studies supports and encourages the acquisition of cultural understanding by inviting students to take part in a moderated Book Club Series in a number of program countries.
The College’s Book Club Series is designed to foster meaningful engagement between students and staff in the critical pre-departure period, enabling a community of readers to discover together the rich cultural heritage of the country of study through the unique points of view of host country authors. Continuous programming in-country allows for that dialogue to continue, providing a context both for the material under consideration and the locales, traditions and assumptions that inform the creation of each culture’s literary heritage.
The range of literature chosen is intentionally broad and varies by semester, at the discretion of individual club moderators. Fiction and non-fiction titles, and historical and contemporary narratives both lyrical and gritty, have been featured in past semesters. As part of the club, members discuss the book, along with its cultural connections and its themes in a community, beginning with an online forum that facilitates discussions and contribution prior to a student’s departure. The engagement continues with planned program excursions in country, which have involved open discussions with authors and visits to sites depicted in the texts.
As part of our overall approach to co-curricular engagement, the Book Club Series represents an important facet of learning which begins with an academic focus but culminates in an intentional opportunity for personal development and cultural understanding.
Participation in the Book Club Series is voluntary, and students can choose to engage to varying degrees. While all club members read the book as a condition of membership, some participate more intensively, taking part in the club discussions and the in-country field trip related to the title.