Global Conversations connects students around the world in engaging and open conversations about issues that matter to you.


Conversation Themes

COVID-19 Pandemic

SARS-COV-19 virus image

Overview

COVID-19 began as a regional health crisis but quickly escalated into a global pandemic that has fundamentally altered the lives of most people on our planet while revealing (and deepening) existing inequalities around the world. Share your experiences, build solidarity, and discuss local solutions in these conversations.

Student Leaders

Emi Tsukada (tsukada@bc.edu) + Laura Bianchi (bianchil@bc.edu) 

Conversations

Conversations about the topics below have begun or are planned with partner universities around the world:

  • University Life amidst COVID-19
  • COVID-19 and inequality
  • COVID-19 and Public Health
  • COVID-19 and Politics
     

To join a conversation, individually or as a small group of 4-6 students, click the "Join the Conversation" link here or above, and let us know your interests. A conversation leader at BC will partner with a conversation leader at another university to fill the seats and schedule the conversation. Videoconference links will be shared with participants separately.

Questions? Email the BC coordinator listed under each Theme to ask questions or suggest new topics.

Racial Justice and Decolonization

Black Lives Matter logo

Overview

George Floyd’s horrific murder in June 2020 by Minneapolis Police officers ignited protests across the United States, then around the world, against structural racism and police brutality. Anti-blackness and other forms of racism are enduring problems in many societies that deeply impact government, politics, education, public health, religions, the economy and the environment. Share your experiences, build solidarity, and seek solutions in these conversations. 

Student Leader

Brianna Stonick (stonickb@bc.edu)

Conversations

Conversations about the topics below have begun or are planned with partner universities around the world:

  • Decolonization and Racial Justice in Universitites
  • The Global Movement for Black Lives
  • Anti-Blackness and Social Justice
  • Decolonization, Monuments, and Reparations
  • Restorative Justice: Monuments, Memorials, Museums
  • Prospects and Pathways to Racial Justice 
     

To join a conversation, individually or as a small group of 4-6 students, click the "Join the Conversation" link here or above, and let us know your interests. A conversation leader at BC will partner with a conversation leader at another university to fill the seats and schedule the conversation. Videoconference links will be shared with participants separately.

Questions? Email the BC coordinator listed under each Theme to ask questions or suggest new topics.

Protests & Social Change

Women's Protest 2017, by Mobilus In Mobili

Overview

Protests bring the power of collective action to the public square, rendering visible calls for (or against) social change that might otherwise be unseen and unheard. They take on very different shapes and purposes around the world, whether expressing outrage over specific laws or general political corruption, building support for economic or racial justice, or pushing against shifts in cultural norms that are seen to be too fast. Share your experiences and perspectives on protest movements and the possibility of social change in these conversations.

Student Leader

Tonie Chase (chaseto@bc.edu) 

Conversations

Conversations about the topics below have begun or are planned with partner universities around the world:

  • Students as Activists 
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Social Media, Protest, and Social Change
  • Performativity vs. Actualizing Change
  • Music as Activism for Social Justice
  • Protests for Queer and Trans Rights around the World
  • The Peace Movement
     

To join a conversation, individually or as a small group of 4-6 students, click the "Join the Conversation" link here or above, and let us know your interests. A conversation leader at BC will partner with a conversation leader at another university to fill the seats and schedule the conversation. Videoconference links will be shared with participants separately.

Questions? Email the BC coordinator listed under each Theme to ask questions or suggest new topics.

Environmental Justice

Earth as blue marble

Overview

Despite growing awareness about environmental issues, the overwhelming intersection between environmentalism and social justice has long been ignored in traditional environmental discourse. It has been proven that marginalized communities and people of color are disproportionately affected by the increasing effects of the climate crisis. Share  experiences with climate change and environmental injustices, and take part in discussing solutions for our planet’s future.

Student Leaders

Inés Philippi (philipin@bc.edu) + Zeyad Anwar (anwarz@bc.edu) 

Conversations

Conversations about the topics below have begun or are planned with partner universities around the world:

  • Experiences of Climate Change 
  • Nuclear Energy and Environmental Justice 
  • Environmental Racism
  • Sustainability Today
  • Our Planet in 50 Years
     

To join a conversation, individually or as a small group of 4-6 students, click the "Join the Conversation" link here or above, and let us know your interests. A conversation leader at BC will partner with a conversation leader at another university to fill the seats and schedule the conversation. Videoconference links will be shared with participants separately.

Questions? Email the BC coordinator listed under each Theme to ask questions or suggest new topics.

Globalization and Global Culture(s)

Women's Protest 2017, by Mobilus In Mobili

Overview

The technologies, processes, and ideologies of globalization have connected peoples around the world in complex ways, bringing profoundly positive and negative effects on individuals and cultures. How has globalization affected your life and culture through music, social media, movies, travel experiences, career aspirations, and your sense of global citizenship?

Student Leaders

BC Coordinator: Claire Guarini (guarinic@bc.edu)
+ Laura Bianchi, Nikolai Darenkov, Sam Stevenson, Mar Garcia

Conversations

Conversations about the topics below have begun or are planned with partner universities around the world:

  • The Ethics of Humanitarian Aid 
  • Capitaliism under a Blacklight
  • How and Why Should We Study Abroad?
  • Cultural Exchange and Influence in the Arts 
  • Seven Nations on Your Plates: Global Food Systems  
     

To join a conversation, individually or as a small group of 4-6 students, click the "Join the Conversation" link here or above, and let us know your interests. A conversation leader at BC will partner with a conversation leader at another university to fill the seats and schedule the conversation. Videoconference links will be shared with participants separately.

Questions? Email the BC coordinator listed under each Theme to ask questions or suggest new topics.

Migrants and Refugees

Refugee camp in Iraq

Overview

Migration is a deeply divisive issue in many countries today as the number of international migrants (over 207 million worldwide) and refugees (26 million) continues to grow worldwide in response to violent conflict, economic and political instability, and climate change. How can the world best handle these massive movements of people? How have you and your community been affected by migration?

Student Leaders

Mary Su (wenwei.su@bc.edu) + Grace Cavanagh (cavanaga@bc.edu)

Conversations

Conversations about the topics below have begun or are planned with partner universities around the world:

  • Sharing Our Immigrant Stories
  • Cultural Assimilation of Refugees and Migrants
  • How the US-China Relationship is Affecting International Students
  • Rise of Populism and Anti-Immigration Policies
  • The U.S. Southern Border and the Northern Triangle
  • Youth Migration
     

To join a conversation, individually or as a small group of 4-6 students, click the "Join the Conversation" link here or above, and let us know your interests. A conversation leader at BC will partner with a conversation leader at another university to fill the seats and schedule the conversation. Videoconference links will be shared with participants separately.

Questions? Email the BC coordinator listed under each Theme to ask questions or suggest new topics.

Lead a Conversation

a

Hear from some of our current student leaders.

Why become a student leader?

If you are interested in meeting like-minded people around the world, being a conversation leader is the perfect role for you! As a Global Conversation student leader, you will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about present-day topics with students from all the over the world. From a range of topics -- Migration and Refugees, Globalization and Global Cultures, COVID Pandemic, Social Protest and Social Change, Environmental Justice, Racial justice and Decolonization -- you can actively engage with ideas and perspectives shared by international university students.

Hear testimonials from some of our current student leaders by watching our video, "Introducing Global Conversations." 

Before the conversation:

  • Pick the conversation topic that you want to lead.
    A theme leader from the leadership committee will notify you of the student leader at the other university you'll be speaking with.   

  • Collaborate with the student conversation leader(s) from the other university. 
    >> Set a date and time for your conversation
    >> Brainstorm at least 3 main discussion questions for the conversation

  • Recruit participants by spreading the word about the conversation.
    >> Reach out to committee members for support
    >> Email professors/ departments/programs/ clubs that might be interested in the conversation

  • Send out sign-up confirmation emails 24 hours in advance. 
     

During the conversation:

  • Introduce yourself and the topic, and invite others to introduce themselves

  • Facilitate an open, respectful environment

  • Enjoy the conversation! 

  • Send out our post-conversation survey 
     

After the conversation:

  • Let the theme leaders know how your conversation went!
    >> Email us at global.conversations@bc.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a student leader do? 

Each conversation has a student leader from each university who helps to plan and structure the conversation in coordination with one another. Student leaders are peers, not "experts" who lecture the group about a topic. 
They correspond before the conversation to confirm the topics and plan a few questions for the session. Additionally, they are responsible for making sure students at their university attend the session they signed up for. 

We need student leaders for every conversation, and we invite students to lead multiple sessions according to your interests, language skills, and availability.

Read more about becoming a student leader

Is there a cost to participate? 

No, there is no fee or cost to participate. 

What happens during a conversation? 

The conversations are typically an informal, hour-long discussion with a group of 8 to 10 people (half BC students and half from another university). These conversations tend to be very casual, and students end up discussing what is most interesting to them about their topic, including jokes, personal anecdotes, and more! You can watch our informational video here, and check out our “Past Conversations” gallery to learn more!

What are the benefits? 

To foster connectivity and solidarity during these particularly challenging times, the Global Conversations project provides a unique platform on which we connect students from around to world to engage on important and ethical topics of their choice. Beyond that, students who choose to lead conversations get a chance to hone their leadership and facilitation, intercultural communication, and event planning skills! For students that have an interest in international affairs, it serves as a wonderful chance to gain experience in multicultural exchange!

Can faculty participate? 

No, the conversations are reserved for students. This ensures peer-to-peer conversations that can be more open and equal, without worries about expertise or seniority getting in the way of direct conversation. 

But we encourage faculty members to share information about Global Conversations with their peers and students, to recommend student leaders, and most importantly, to consider using Global Conversations as part of their class requirements or extra credit: these conversations build intercultural communication skills and can be a great way to hear new and diverse perspectives on the topics you're teaching. 

Do I need to prepare in advance? 

To encourage the easy exchange of ideas and lower the barrier to participation, we discourage any assigning any "homework" before a conversation. However, if a conversation focuses on a particular event (e.g. a new climate accord) or document (e.g. a new papal encyclical), it might make sense to have a short shared reading. Discuss this with your co-leader while planning the conversation if it seems appropriate.

More broadly, these conversations generally do not presume knowledge about the schools, cities, or countries you'll connect with. Come with an open mind! If certain conversations are planned around deeper levels of analysis or pre-existing knowledge, this should be made clear when seeking student participants. 

What happens after a conversation ends? 

You can choose to schedule as many conversations and follow-up conversations as you like. There is no requirement to keep scheduling events, but it is a great way to maintain a relationship between our universities.

Partners

Global affiliates:

Ateneo de Manila (Manila, Philippines)
Beijing International Studies University (Beijing, China)
Lebanese American University (Beirut, Lebanon)
Ca' Foscari University (Venice, Italy)
IE University (Madrid, Spain)
Peace Culture Village (Hiroshima, Japan)
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago, Chile)
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia)
Tallinn University (Talinn, Estonia)

Tor Vergata University (Rome, Italy)
Uganda Martyrs University (Nkozi, Uganda)
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan, Italy)
University of Insubria (Como, Italy)
University of Saint Joseph (Beirut, Lebanon)

[...and many more to come!]

Boston College affiliates:

Office of the Vice-Provost for Global Engagement
Center for Human Rights and International Justice
International Studies Program
International Studies Student Association

[...More to come!]

 


 Keep in Touch

  >> Sign up for the Global Conversations newsletter to receive updates.

  >> Follow us on Instagram @BCglobalconversations

  >> Email us at global.conversations@bc.edu