Student Handbook

Special Programs

Revised August 1, 2019

Domestic Global Connections Options The Washington Semester 

In cooperation with The American University, Arcadia University participates in The Washington Semester Programs that are designed to give selected undergraduates a better understanding of national and international affairs through a study of government in action. Students spend one semester at The American University during their junior or senior year and register for one of several formal programs: The Washington Semester in National Government, The American Politics: Public Law Semester, The Foreign Policy Semester, The Peace and Conflict Resolution Semester, The Economic Policy Semester, The Washington Journalism Semester, The Criminal Justice Semester or The Art and Architecture Semester. The programs combine seminars, internships and research in a full semester of academic work in Washington, D.C. The student’s enrollment remains at Arcadia University and financial aid is available.

Global Connections, Experience, Reflection 

There are many ways to fulfill the Global Connections Experience – as close by as the Won Buddhist Temple in Glenside or as far away as Capetown, South Africa. In each case, students are engaged in a sustained, semester-long cross-cultural experience and are involved in ongoing reflection during the experience (typically through enrolling in GCR 101).

Students can participate in courses on the Glenside campus that have an experiential component in order to fulfill the Global Connections Experience. If a student participates in a course-based experience, he or she is expected to complete 40 additional experiential hours either in the same community as the course-based experience or in a context or organization that addresses the same issue or topic the student is exploring. Most of these experiences also include the Global Connections Reflection (GCR) within the course. Some of the courses currently available that include this experiential component include:

  • ID 228: Shakespeare with Seniors 
  • ID 330: Inside Out Prison Exchange Program 
  • ID 325: Artist in the Community
  • ID 226: Teen UpRise Mentoring Experience
  • RE 114: Living Religions of the World

The University also has opportunities that combine short-term study away with a local or online semester-long sustained experience. Some of these have included GFS and Preview courses that include short-term travel to Dominica, Ecuador, Chile, Ghana, and Los Angeles.

GCR 101 - Global Connections Reflection (2 credits, fall, spring, summer): This course is the companion course to the Global Connections Experience (unless the GCR reflection component is embedded in a 4-credit course and coded as "GR" on the course schedule). This is a key Curricular Experience in Arcadia’s Undergraduate Curriculum. All students complete this course while engaging in an experience in a cultural context different from the one in which they grew up (locally, nationally or internationally). This course assists students in reflecting on the interconnections, interdependence, and inequality they encounter during the experience in working to understand the world and their place in it. This course should be completed before student's second semester of their senior year. International students are expected to complete GCR 101 by the end of their first year at Arcadia. Their Arcadia experience is their study abroad. If students fail GCR 101 they must take the class again with a different international or local experience. Students cannot complete GCR 101 retroactively. 

Co-requisites: While taking this course, students must be involved in an approved Global Connections Experience. There are no prerequisites. For further questions about any of the domestic global course offerings or options, please contact the Director of Global Learning.