Global Education for a Global World

We live in a global society. As Americans, we are part of an economy and a culture that has a large impact on the entire world. Of course, a large impact nearly always comes with difficult problems. Many global issues today need to be fixed, and soon today’s college students will be the ones facing them. Although many of the issues are very serious, such as the threat of a global financial crisis, noticeable climate change and worldwide poverty, we can make a difference in the fight to solve the world’s greatest problems. Since college students are living and learning within a global society, we ought to be most adept at thinking critically about global issues and creating solutions beneficial for both us as well as the rest of the planet.

According to a survey done by the European Union (EU) and featured by Business Insider, citizens of the EU believe that the global economic situation is the third most serious issue in the world today. The modern global economy is so complex that many countries are concerned about its potential collapse in the future. If any of the countries with large economies, including America, were to suffer a significant economic depression, the entire global economy could be at stake. Our very lives hinge on the health of the global economy. Many of the possessions we own were made in other countries. The companies that we work for and create have a direct impact on both the local economy and the global economy. Our lives are intertwined with the economic ecosystem of our time, and it will soon be up to current college students to make sure that the global economy remains alive and well.

Many programs here at MSU, such as the Global Studies certificate and the International Engineering and International Business certificates, can help students to be players in the global world of the twenty-first century.

According to the EU citizens, climate change is the second most concerning issue affecting the world today. Although much contention exists between scientists, politicians and the public as to whether global warming is due to our workings, climate change is definitely becoming an increasingly concerning issue. Ice caps are melting and ecosystems all over the world are showing signs of stress. Research and solutions are needed. Even though climate change may not be directly evident when we step outside into the crisp Montana air, people need to realize that climate change affects everyone and everything on the planet.

MSU has many science, engineering and liberal arts programs that provide students with the tools to tackle the problem of environmental degradation and climate change as well as create more advanced technology that has a lesser footprint. These courses include seminars on earth system sciences and solar power.

Many citizens of countries around the world including the United States definitively agree on one major global issue — poverty. In the survey of EU citizens, worldwide poverty is the number one most concerning issue in the world today. Poverty exists not only in developing nations but right in the U.S. as well. Poverty affects billions of people across the globe.

Again MSU has many programs and clubs that focus on the problem of global poverty and how to create solutions that benefit all. For instance, Engineers Without Borders, a club that travels to Kenya every summer to build wells in rural villages. The club’s projects are vital to bringing clean water to schoolchildren and is open to all majors. Other engineering clubs, as well as numerous clubs across the MSU campus, give you the opportunity to make your mark upon the world. Even many of the students at MSU come from numerous countries around the world. Simply making new friends from places other than home is a step in thinking globally and acting locally.

College is meant to be a place that educates students to be effective professional members of society who are capable of addressing the problems of the world. Many opportunities are available to embrace the global world that we live in, and Montana State is the perfect place to do so. Students will soon be the ones making world decisions. We need to practice thinking globally and we need to make sure that we are ready to tackle the problems of tomorrow. We have the power to fix the world, if we only put our minds to it.