An Expanded Global Vision for UVA


An Expanded Global Vision for UVA

UVA in sand in Jordan

VA’s global engagement got off to a flying start in 2024 with a record number of 18 J-Term study abroad programs in multiple disciplines that took more than 380 students to every continent except Antarctica.  Our students and faculty explored environmental sustainability in India’s urban landscape, Evolution, Ecology and Ethics in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, Swahili culture in rural Kenya, European Art and Culture in the Czech Republic, and, in the first return of UVA students to China in four years, the role of sports diplomacy in managing difficult international relationships.  None of it would have been possible without faculty who willingly sacrificed their holiday breaks to organize and lead the programs, and multiple donors and alumni who made substantial contributions to help students’ dreams come true – the University and our students are in their debt, as I’m sure you’ll agree when taking a look at some of our feature articles this month capturing the joy and the full flavor of some of these exciting programs.

J-Term was only the beginning of what will be a consequential year in UVA’s longer-term involvement in the wider world.  This semester, there will be important pan-University delegations visiting South Africa, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates to explore opportunities for a significant expansion of study and research opportunities abroad, even as we continue with plans to open a University office in India.  After a lengthy drought of academic engagement in China, we look to build on the success of our J-Term course and the recent political commitment of the U.S. and Chinese governments to increase American students studying there with a view towards reviving longstanding academic partnerships in the country.

J-Term was only the beginning of what will be a consequential year in UVA’s longer-term involvement in the wider world.

Here on Grounds, we look forward to formally launching the Global Classroom program to provide grant funding to faculty to support their ideas to “globalize” their classroom content, for example by bringing international practitioners into the classroom for limited periods or co-teaching binational courses in partnership with international university partners.  We expect to host yet more “Scholars At Risk” who are fleeing persecution in their home countries and look forward to deepening our engagement with UVA’s community of international students and scholars.  We will continue to work with partners across the University to sponsor events on pressing international issues, such as our planned program later this spring featuring former Palestinian and Israeli negotiators on prospects for reviving the peace process in the Middle East and ending the deadly conflict in Gaza.

Throughout the year, we’ll be eager to hear from you in the University community on how we can best support your interest in international engagement – don’t hesitate to be in touch with your ideas!

Stay Global!

Ambassador Stephen Mull

Ambassador Stephen Mull is Vice Provost of Global Affairs.