The Global Development Studies (GDS) minor allows students to explore the political, economic, and sociocultural dimensions of global development, while also providing opportunities to learn skills and engage in experiences that enable future studies or work in the field of global development.
Looking back at the classes I have taken at this university and what I have learned over my four years here, it is clear that global development has been a constant underlying theme all in all my studies. Although I did not originally notice the overlapping themes in my first few semesters, I quickly began picking up on the connections following my first global development studies class. From that point on, I have been able to understand the ways in which development theories and frameworks have impacted almost every field of study. I think that global development is important to study because not only does it provide you with a deeper understanding of the international system and policy creation, but it is prevalent in so many other fields, whether obvious or not.
When Global Development Studies was launched, I was ecstatic. I have always been interested in global health care and when I found out there would be a possibility to merge my pre-med studies with my global interests, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I came into Puget Sound with enough science credits that I was able to spend a lot of time with Global Development Studies, and I am so glad I did. The ability for me to be able to critically think about global health inequities and the challenges that the world faces when it comes to policy making and funding of healthcare gives me perspective when I am working in my community.
Studying Global Development has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my college career. Global Development Studies classes helped to open up my world view and allowed me to better understand how and why countries interact the way they do. I chose to do the GDS emphasis because it fell in line with my International Political Economy major extremely well. It pushed me to take a few classes I wouldn't have thought to take and those classes have been some of the most valuable I've taken throughout college.
Global Development Studies is extremely valuable for those interested in understanding macro-level modern trends, patterns, events that happen around the world and that ultimately shape how the international system works. I decided to study global development because global issues have always interested me and I wanted to be able to comprehend the bigger picture related to some of the most important topics of our time, including urbanization, environmental degradation, education, and healthcare, and to evaluate them at the global, national, and local levels. It is a great interdisciplinary minor because there is so much variety to the topics that can fall under the category of global development.
As a sociology and anthropology major, and as someone who enjoys learning other languages, the interaction between two cultures is something I think about a lot. I quickly realized that GDS presents its materials in a way for students to historically contextualize their own lives within a broader global narrative, as well as understand the contemporary movements for a variety of intersectional issues that are being explored across the world. In a world that is becoming ever more connected, I found that it was through my GDS classes where I really learned and understood not just about development, but about the global processes connecting the world, as well as my own place within it. In this way, I feel more prepared for engaging with others, and interacting with cultures that are outside of my own.
I believe that Global Development Studies is invaluable in contextualizing the world today. Our experience of globalization means that political, economic, and social decisions impact people across the world, including people in developing countries. Global Development Studies ended up being the centralizing theme of my varying interests of French, music, and International Political Economy. It was through GDS that much of the Francophone literature that I read in French classes made sense in light of the history of colonialism and development. My goal is to make or contribute to a positive change in the world, and I believe that GDS has not only shown me some of the most pressing problems that need to be solved, but has also provided me with the tools to collaborate to solve these problems.
Global Development contextualizes modern affairs by building a foundation of knowledge that spans across an array of interesting and valuable topics such as Global Health, Economic Development, and interdisciplinary topics like transnational relations between China and Latin America. Paired with my Economics major and Chinese minor, I found that Global Development Studies provided me with the unique opportunity to dive deeper into international development topics that were just being mentioned in my other courses. I hope that from my studies, I will be able to leverage my knowledge from GDS and in some way contribute to positive and sustainable change on a global level.
The Global Development Studies minor has allowed me to see outside the world of science and to analyze how networks of social, political, cultural, and economic factors are influencing the world around me. The interdisciplinary approach of this program has allowed me to explore many different subjects within the minor, such as global trade relationships, tourism, and healthcare practices that have ultimately led to a more complex understanding of different processes that have shaped global inequality.