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The Curriculum & Schedule

The GSIS program provides a rigorous introduction and foundation to the field of International Studies. All 2023 GSIS students will receive three hours of college credit and be enrolled in a special section of "Introduction to International Studies" (INTL 1100).

What is the field of international studies?

International Studies is a broad, interdisciplinary field of study encompassing the international community's social, political, economic, and cultural workings. Course content will cover culture, meaning and identity, social and political organization, inequality, and power within a changing global context. The course features several guest lecturers from various academic disciplines to expose students to historic and ongoing globalization processes from perspectives of culture, economics, environment, and politics.

Through the curriculum, GSIS students will:

  • Develop problem-solving skills related to global events
  • Develop an appreciation and understanding of other cultures
  • Develop critical thinking skills with an international perspective

What else will students study?

In addition to INTL 1100, GSIS students meet daily to discuss issues and participate in enrichment activities dealing with a specific area of the world. Students will be divided into four regional areas, with each area group being introduced to a language spoken in that area by native speakers. Students will study these areas' culture, customs, and lifestyles and curate a cultural dinner with ethnic food, traditional dances, foreign songs, culturally-appropriate skits, and more. 

Is geography included in the curriculum? 

One of the class requirements is to be able to recognize and locate all of the countries of the world. Students will be given a map test in the third week of the program, asking them to identify a randomized list of sovereign nations.  To successfully pass the course, students must score at least 90% or greater. Chances to retake the exam will be allowed. Due to the program's intensive nature, students may wish to study well in advance as class time will not prepare for this exam. For a list of study resources, check out Parts Geek here

What will students do during the late afternoons, evenings, and weekends? 

Other co-curricular activities include developing a 'global village,' a variety of guest speakers, participating in a model United Nations simulation, field trips to the National Civil Rights Museum, the world-renowned Memphis Zoo, and other local sites. Students will also have free time to spend at the recreation center, nap, practice instruments, study, and enjoy the UofM campus. While the schedule changes from year to year, GSIS students can get an idea of the daily GSIS schedule by clicking here.