UCSC Global Seminars are academic programs that aim to enhance students’ education by incorporating both traditional lectures with experiential learning outside of the classroom setting. Students will earn between 5 and 10 quarter units; therefore, students should expect rigorous academic coursework that is enriched by both the program’s location(s) and activities. Auditing is not an option.

Students on UCSC Global Seminars earn regular UC Santa Cruz course credit which may be used to fulfill degree, major, minor, General Education (GE) requirements. UC Santa Cruz students can use UCSC Global Seminar courses to fulfill their academic requirements as listed in the General Catalog. Students from other campuses should consult with the academic advisors from their home campuses to determine whether courses taken on our programs may be used to fulfill their specific academic requirements.


Students will enroll in two upper-division courses that count toward the requirements for the UCSC LALS major and satisfy two general education requirements. 

Students from the following majors are strongly encouraged to apply: LALS, Anthropology, Sociology, Community Studies, ENVS, History, HAVC, CRES, Sustainable Studies, Agroecology Network, Education, and Spanish Studies.

LALS 184:  Fair Trade at a Global Crossroads: Environment and Culture in Central Veracruz

The central axis of inquiry of this course is, what is fair trade?  In-field assignments, students will study sites of exchange and performance and social projects as elements of a social-geographic region, mediating flows of resources and contributing to an open-ended history that includes us as consumers, guests, students, and fellow global citizens.  Readings, lectures, and discussions create frameworks of understanding by building vocabulary, critical frameworks, and analytical practice.  We will study regional history infrastructure and culture through four overlapping economies that are contested terrain for the forces of extractivism, and sustainable regional integration: 1) tourism, 2) coffee; 3) food and water; 4) expressive culture.  From the Port City to the State Capital, Xalapa, to the “Coffee City” of Coatepec, we will learn how people use resources to refract, make use of, and shape the ongoing global histories in this place. 

Syllabus Coming Soon

LALS 185 Promotor Strategies in the 21st Century: Education for Community Development

This course introduces students to the goals and methods of Latin American “promotor” approaches, based on popular education and cooperative network structure.  

In short placements (a total of 6 half-days) students will work in small team placements with members of the class to learn from the daily work of an organization.  Through observation, interview, and collaborative work, students will research Latin American techniques to promote dialogue, regional participation in problem-solving, and a sustainable future.

Course readings, excursions, and daily class meetings will build critical frameworks and vocabulary relevant to this approach, and explore theories and communicative practices for regional integration and community development.  Primary concept readings are assigned in both English and Spanish, to facilitate both fuller comprehension and success in field assignments.   Designed to follow LALS 185, the course continues to practice and expand many of the same skill sets. The course builds on vocabulary and concepts in fair trade and cooperativism, and explores communicative strategies and other techniques that promote participation, regional integration, and fair trade. Through structured practice and feedback, students continue to build confidence and competence as experiential learners in a fluid team setting.

Syllabus Coming Soon

See Also