Global Learning Seminars

Composite image of people from many nations

FYS-Global Learning seminars invite first-year students to explore cultural diversity and global challenges while developing awareness and critical thinking skills that will help them thrive in an interconnected world.

First-Year Seminars are an exciting program of small, innovative classes that reflect the instructor's intellectual interests. Limited to 19 students each, these unique courses promote intellectual exchange, critical thinking, and community. Global Learning Seminars, a collaboration between UC Davis Global Affairs and First-Year Seminars, provide an occasion for students to explore cultural diversity and/or learn about global challenges and how they are being addressed, while developing awareness and critical thinking skills that will help them thrive in an interconnected world.

Global Learning Seminars aim to enhance students’ sense of identity, community, and ethics, as well as their capacity for problem-solving and perspective-taking, in ways that are at once collaborative, equitable, and sustainable. These seminars are an important way that UC Davis is pursuing Global Education for All—a campus goal to provide 100% of UC Davis students with global learning experiences.

Global Learning Seminars provide important opportunities for students to:

  • Build Global Awareness
    • Students examine actions and relationships that influence global systems from multiple perspectives, analyzing how complex systems impact themselves and others.
  • Embrace Diversity
    • Students explore complex dimensions of diversity, equity and inclusion around the world, including language, culture and identity.
  • Act Globally
    • Students create strategies to apply knowledge, skills, and abilities to collaboratively address global challenges, locally and beyond.

The most important element of a Global Learning Seminar is that you are excited about introducing students to an important topic that will get them thinking about global systems, their implications for people’s lives and/or planetary sustainability, and/or how people are working to improve them.


To support you in teaching a Global Learning Seminar, Global Affairs has developed a library of resources including Global Learning Outcomes, sample syllabi, scholarly articles, links to news articles and discussions on topics like academic engagement, cultural wealth, and global learning. If you are interested in discussing embedding Global Learning within a FYS, please contact Elizabeth Langridge-Noti (

Ready to Propose a Global Learning Seminar?

If you are interested in teaching a Global Learning Seminar, please contact FYS Associate Director Eddy Ruiz at before submitting your proposal. We will reach out to help create or review your syllabus. 

Start Your Proposal

Resources for All First-Year Seminar Instructors

Like all FYS courses, Global Learning Seminars carry Academic Enrichment Funds of $3,000 for teaching 2-unit seminars and $2,500 for teaching 1-unit seminars. You can use these funds for university-related business expenses such as research or other academic or professional endeavors. FYS mini-grants of up to $500 can also be requested to cover eligible expenses incurred while teaching. Seminars can be offered for either traditional letter grades or on a pass/no pass basis.

More Information Regarding Global Affairs

For more information about the First-Year Seminars Program, contact Program Assistant Janet Chambers