Experience the World

The SOAN curriculum has a strong global focus, and many of its faculty engage in research abroad; therefore, whether the topic is development and migration, or gender, health, and work, most of our classes bring "the world" into the classroom through international case studies, comparative analyses and ethnographies that highlight global inequalities and interconnections. SOAN faculty are also active in developing and directing their own short and long-term study abroad opportunities, and finding ways to integrate overseas experience and research into our on-campus curriculum.


Above: Students in Indonesia and Southeast Asia in Cultural Context (SOAN 312) visit the Bumi Langit Islamic permaculture farm and speak with its founder, Iskandar Waworuntu, in Central Java, Indonesia.

  • Many SOAN students embellish their on-campus learning with short-term study abroad courses.  SOAN 312 Indonesia and Southeast Asia in Cultural Context, supported by the LIASE program and led by Professor Barkin, offers a semester-long study of Indonesian culture, history, and language here at Puget Sound, which is then deepened by a three-week immersive and collaborative learning experience in Indonesia. These experiences integrate classroom and community-based learning for a truly interactive and global education.
  • Other short-term study programs offered by the department include SOAN 377 Migrants in the Global City, led by Professor Gardner, which includes trips to Amsterdam and Doha. SOAN students have also taken advantage of the following short-term study abroad opportunities:
    • CONN/LAS 399 -- "Alternative Modernities" (Argentina)
    • ENVR 335 – “Thinking about Biodiversity” (Malaysia)
    • IPE 333 – “Political Economy of Southeast Asia (Thailand)
    • PG/LAS 399 – “Latin American Travel Seminar” (Cuba)
  • For a more sustained immersive experience, many SOAN students participate in semester-long study abroad programs, taking courses that count toward their SOAN major.  The most popular programs offer the opportunity for individual research and/or internships in an immersive environment. SOAN students often bring this research back to campus to use as the foundation for future research and/or thesis work. Popular programs include:
    • SIT programs on development, health, migration, and human rights in places like Morocco, Madagascar, and Brazil;
    • DIS Denmark programs on urban planning and sustainability;
    • Development, Culture and Social Change program in Oaxaca, Mexico; this program is alternately led by faculty from Puget Sound and our partner institution, Pacific Lutheran University.
    • PacRim Puget Sound's signature year-long study abroad program in Asia, has a history of SOAN involvement. This includes field courses taught by Professor Kukreja, and by Professor Barkin, who has also directed the program, and helped to develop its experientially-focused Learning Objectives and Strategies.
  • The global focus of the SOAN curriculum propels many graduates into international service positions or fellowships following graduation. Many use their time at Puget Sound to prepare for service in the Peace Corps or pursue a Fulbright or Watson Fellowship to continue their engagement with global issues.