Students from Japanese House

The Global Village consists of language and cultural houses located within the Living/Learning Center Complex. Students accepted into a Global Village house live together with other members of that same house. Residents participate in a diverse array of programming, enabling them to explore connections among language, art, and culture at a regional, national, and international scale.

The Global Village Passport Class

First-time Global Village residents must enroll in the largely self-paced, one-credit Global Village Passport Class (GRS 025), partly comprised of a series of Common Hour community gatherings. Common Hours feature special guest lectures, workshops, and social gatherings.

What Happens in the Global Village?

The Global Village and its houses sponsor dozens of programs and activities each semester. Some recent examples:

Community Events

  • Open Suite Night
  • Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner
  • No English Picnic
  • Lane Series Music Performances

Common Hours

  • Study Aboard – A Student's Perspective
  • Thai Food and Culture
  • Panel Discussion on Globalization
  • Ethnomusicology

Wednesday Night Gatherings

  • Oktoberfest
  • Venitian Mask-Making
  • International Culinary Cook-off
  • Perspectives on Africa

House Events

  • Japanese Business Culture
  • Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
  • Crêpes and a Movie
  • Caribbbean Carnival

Global Village Program Descriptions

Africa House

This house is designed to help students develop a deeper awareness and appreciation of African cultures and traditions while increasing their educational experience in a diversified topic area. Students will learn about the rich variety of African cultures by: studying historical events that have helped shape modern Africa; participating in cultural immersion programs focused on different African countries; and interacting with Africans and Africanist scholars both at UVM and in the greater Burlington community. Through its residential component, Africa House also allows students to explore Africa’s incredibly rich and diverse cultures and to share their own experiences on a more personal level.

Arabic House

Open to all students eager to learn more about Arabic culture and language, this house welcomes those just beginning their study of Arabic as well as those who have native or near-native fluency. Designed to meet several educational needs of students studying Arabic language and culture, Arabic House provides active, personal engagement with the culture as expressed in film, literature, and cuisine; the opportunity to use the language with native speakers outside the classroom; and the chance to share their own knowledge of Arabic culture and language. Program activities will be based on resident interest, and many events will be open to the wider community (for example, celebrating Eid al-Adha and Mawlid). All residents are encouraged to take Arabic language courses at the relevant level, and will be expected to interact with other Global Village members to share in all the participating clutures for better mutual understanding.

ASL and Deaf Culture House

Our main goal is to establish a community that fosters respect and understanding of and for Deaf culture. Through immersion in the language of Deaf people—American Sign Language (ASL)—we will come together to learn about and become advocates for the Deaf community. Our program will be based around the necessity for social justice as well as the personal language and cultural identities of our individual members—and the way those identities can be similar to or even parallel to that of Deaf people, sign language, and Deaf culture. Programs include signing dinners twice a month, and collaborating with UVM’s ASL Club to connect with others also excited about learning ASL and being a part of the Deaf community. All programs and events are designed to help build a stress- and judgement-free environment where learning is encouraged and enjoyable. We will be lively, exciting, and constantly evolving. Together we will become more proficient signers and more active advocates. When the year is over, we hope that our members will continue to foster a love for the language that captured our attention; and have a deeper understanding, respect, and love for all of the things that make us different—because those are the things that make us... us.

Caribbean House

This house is for students of the Caribbean descent and anyone who wants to learn or be a part of this culture. Created as a smaller community where it’s easy to relate another and create a bond through similarities, our main purpose is to educate on Caribbean culture to help others learn and experience different beliefs and principles. Our goal is to create new and exciting experiences for students and the community, and lead events that can help students, faculty, and community members learn more about who we are as people and what we stand for as a house full of different backgrounds. As diversity increases here at UVM, it is important not only to be acknowledged—but to also be understood.

Chinese House

This house is desgined for students who are learning the Chinese language and interested in Chinese culture. It is a place where American and Chinese students can come together after class for activities that help enrich their cultural experiences. It is also a place to practice Chinese and English language skills with the assistance of UVM Chinese Language Program faculty members and visiting instructors and scholars from China. One of our most popular programs, the Chinese House has been on campus since 1998.

German House

This house provides students the opportunity to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the German language and culture in ways not commonly possible in a traditional classroom setting and timetable. Through films, discussions, guest lecturers, group meals, excursions, festivities and other cultural and social activities, an environment is created in which German is not only encouraged, but becomes a medium of expressing the students' personal interests. Living here can be a good preparation for study abroad in German-speaking countries, and a way to retain fluency after returning to UVM. With the aid of the faculty program director, students can reinforce language learning and share their experiences and knowledge of German culture. German House residents traditionally have identified personal and social aspects—the group spirit and the quality of life in the suites—as being among the strongest features of the program.

India House

Many people in the Western world are unaware of the traditions and cultural aspects of India and their long-lasting impact on the world we live in today. The mission of this house is to acknowledge, appreciate, and educate others about all of India's revolutionary achievements. Past India House events focused on sharing this knowledge with Global Village members and the wider community have featured Indian dance and cuisine; and many more events are being planned for the future.

Japanese House

This house is open to all students now studying or who have previously studied Japanese culture or language, and to those with native or near-native Japanese fluency willing to share their knowledge and skills. The major goal of this house is to explore Japanese culture through shared activities, and students are encouraged (but not required) to speak Japanese in suites and during program activities. Guided by participant interests, events are made to be enjoyable for all, and many are open to local Vermont community members interested in Japan, including visiting and resident Japanese nationals. Program residents are encouraged to take Japanese language courses at the relevant level, and expected to interact with other Global Village members to share different cultures for better mutual understanding.

La Casa de Cultura

This house provides an enriching environment for those interested in discovering diverse Latin American cultures, Spanish language, and the inner workings of the world. The program provides a platform for students to not only embrace the cultures from which they come, but to also gain an understanding of cultures and perspectives apart from their own. In our rapidly globalizing world, social justice, politics, and cultural awareness are becoming increasingly important. This house encourages students from all backgrounds to explore together the complex issues we face—through activities that range from celebrating important events in Latin American countries to presentations on relevant topics delivered by experts on the subject—and by program members themselves.

La Maison Française

Our vision is to bring together students who are interested in French language, culture, literature, and traditions, and this program will immerse students in the francophone way of life in an engaging and educational way. Students studying French will have an opportunity to learn outside the classroom in order to fully understand and speak the language in a social, communal setting. Each member will have the opportunity to speak French in various environments, participate in communal events, share their ideas and experiences, and take on leadership positions for projects that interest them. Activities include films, lectures, and other cultural events. Part of learning a language is being pushed outside of your comfort zone, and we hope to give members both support and challenges along the way.

Russian House

Admission to the Russian House is limited to students currently studying the Russian language, or students who have enrolled in a beginning Russian course for the fall semester. Students will be required to prepare oral presentations and a research paper on related topics of their choosing. Program members will explore and engage with Russia’s deep, rich one-thousand-year history and culture in a variety of ways:

  • Talks by UVM faculty on Russian literature, history, politics, society, music, tattoo culture, student political movements, etc;
  • A weekly Russian conversation hour for practicing language skills and to learn more about everyday aspects of the language (Russian dinner-table etiquette, pen-pal correspondence, Scrabble and Monopoly, and  jokes/anecdotes);
  • Local music, film, and other cultural events;
  • Meeting with Russian exchange students to enjoy Russian cooking and chess-playing;
  • Meeting with Russians who are here visiting Burlington or UVM.

Shalom Home

An important issue facing many Jewish college students today is the rise of anti-Semitism. Shalom Home a place where students of any faith can come to learn, celebrate, and converse about Jewish life, values, and culture in a safe and welcoming environment. This house will help combat anti-Semitism both on and off campus by tapping into the resources of UVM Hillel and collaborating with local Jewish organizations to create all-inclusive community events that will help spread diversity and educate people about Jewish life, values, and culture; and to bring Jewish speakers and scholars into The Shalom Home.

Tea House

Students living in this house will steep themselves in the art and appreciation of tea—the art of brewing it, and the various cultures, customs, types, styles, and various comforts that tea can bring. Tea House residents will explore centuries-old teas from China, teas native to remote regions of Africa, each with their own unique history and origin, and teas that are a combination of multiple cultures and origins. Students will also learn about tea ceremonies rich in culture and integral to life in certain countries, and the different religious, cultural, and medicinal aspects of tea. Program activities include cultural tea nights—sampling teas from around the world, with a brief historical background, traditional brewing and serving methods, and how the tea is made. Tea education nights would highlight more about tea in general—how it's grown and made, the different types (white, oolong, black, herbal, etc.) and how to brew them—and most importantly, on the comfort and joy that tea can bring to our lives!