Global Village Learning Community

Important Update

As we monitor novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are committed to supporting students, faculty and staff and ensuring that all students can fulfill their academic requirements as planned.

As of 3/18/20, The Sociology Department office is closed. All staff and faculty are teleworking.


Global Village Learning Community

About the Global Village

The Global Village Learning Community (GVLC) is a one-year program for freshmen at UNC Charlotte. Our academic focus centers on cross-cultural and global issues, which means we spend time learning about different people and cultures at home and abroad. All courses fulfill general education requirements, so it will help you get closer to graduation whatever your chosen major.

It is open to ALL students, regardless of major and where you choose to live!





 As is the case with all Learning Communities at UNC Charlotte, a primary goal of the Global Village LC is to engage new freshmen in the intellectual and social community that is UNC Charlotte. The first goal is addressed through the LC’s focus on peoples and cultures in different parts of the globe; during the year, students will study, from a variety of perspectives, the outcomes and impacts of various social arrangements using a cross-cultural perspective.

This learning community will help students develop friendships & build support networks with other students & faculty. In addition to taking classes together, GVLC students explore campus resources and career opportunities, engage in service, and do other activities together. This is key to adjusting to UNC Charlotte and making the most of your college experience!

Some unique examples of activities and opportunities GVLC students have participated in together:

  • Attending on-campus events, such as the UNC Charlotte International Festival, lectures, art exhibitions, etc.
  • Pizza and international movie nights (sponsored by the Department of Sociology)
  • Service learning projects (on and off campus) that are related to course material
  • GVLC dinners with Dr. Schmutz and his family to help us get to know each other, celebrate our accomplishments, and build our sense of community. 

Students’ engagement in the social community is addressed both in class and out of class as they develop relationships with faculty, other students and members of various communities interested in global issues. Students in the Global Village LC will enroll together in a series of courses that fulfill General Education requirements and they will also participate in service learning. 

Course Work

During the academic year Global Village Learning Community students enroll in 4 courses as a group (2 courses each semester). Students will individually select 2 or 3 additional courses each semester (a typical full-time student takes 12-15 credit hours each semester). These additional courses will be selected in consultation with an advisor at SOAR and typically fulfill major requirements or additional General Education requirements.

2015-16 Global Village LC, Academic Core:
Fall 2015:

  • SOCY 1101-LC1 Introduction to Sociology (GVLC students only), Dr. Vaughn Schumtz. MW 12:30 PM-1:45 PM
  • LBST 1102-400 Arts and Society: Film, Karen Cushing, M.A.. MW 11:00 AM-12:15 PM

Spring 2016:

  • LBST 2102 Global and Intercultural Connections (GVLC students only), Dr. Vaughn Schmutz. TBD
  • LBST 2101 Western Cultural and Historical Awareness, TBD.

The remaining courses, both fall and spring, are electives. Typically students will take other General Education requirements such as Math, Sciences, or pursue language study.

Optional Study Abroad Programs

After your first year at UNC Charlotte, you are eligible to participate in a study abroad program. GVLC students will have priority registration for the study abroad programs.Both study abroad programs offer the opportunity to get hands-on international experience and to consider global issues from a new perspective. If you are a GVLC member in 2015-16 and want to wait until later in college to participate, you will still be given priority registration! The Department of Sociology offers two study abroad programs in Manchester, England & The Netherlands. 

Manchester, England: "Community and Identity in a Changing City" 






A 5-week summer program worth 6 credit hours. (GVLC students are eligible the summer after their first year)                                                                              

The program in Manchester will give students the opportunity to learn key theories and concepts in urban and community sociology; apply this knowledge to the study of contemporary Manchester; and participate in experiential learning with community organizations. The program’s location in the diverse and dynamic city of Manchester is an ideal location for students to explore community, identity, and social change. 

To supplement program activities and coursework, students will also have opportunities to individually explore other areas of the United Kingdom or other European cities. Students will routinely have long weekends of unscheduled time to explore opportunities individually (e.g. weekend getaways or day trips).

In addition to weekly class meetings, part of the coursework will consist of collaborating with a local community organization dedicated to the restoration of Manchester’s Victoria Baths. Service learning increases students’ understanding of the disciplines they are studying as well as gives them the opportunity to apply their classroom material in a societal context and gain understanding of those whose life experience differs from their own. The program will also visit sites of cultural and historical importance in Manchester and includes three day-trip excursions to surrounding cities such as York and Liverpool, among others. 

The Netherlands: "Comparative Cultural Sociology" 



A spring break study abroad experience worth 3 credit hours. (GVLC students are eligible beginning their sophomore year).

The Netherlands provides an ideal setting for studying a range of sociological issues and is an especially interesting source of comparison with the United States.  While both countries confront a number of similar issues, they differ in many respects.  Whereas the United States is a large, relatively market-oriented society with weak state intervention and a decentralized system of education, for example, the Netherlands is a smaller, more civic-minded society with stronger state intervention and a more centralized educational system.  While the US holds a prominent position in the international arena, the Netherlands occupies a much less conspicuous place. 

Relative to other continental European countries, the Netherlands is open to foreign, including American and Anglophone, culture.  As a result, the Netherlands will provide a welcoming setting in which students can study and practice the art of comparison.  Topics will include globalization, immigration, education, sexuality, cultural heritage, music, and the arts.

Is Global Village LC for you? If:

  • You are interested in majoring in a Social Science (e.g. Anthropology, History, Sociology, Political Science)
  • You are interested in other peoples and cultures
  • You are interested in taking courses focused on global issues during your freshman year (all four courses will count towards your General Education requirements)
  • You would like to connect with international students and organizations on campus
  • You would like to learn from professors who have done research in other countries
  • You would like to engage in service learning in your coursework. (Service learning is volunteer work that is directly connected to academic coursework)
  • You would like to increase your understanding of social institutions and cultures both here and in other parts of the world
  • Your are interested in pursuing a career that has a global dimension
  • You would like to spend part of your first summer studying in another country

...then the answer is YES!

  GVLC logo

For more information about the Global Village Learning Community, please contact:

Dr. Vaughn Schmutz
GVLC Coordinator
Fretwell 460C
Dept. of Sociology
Phone : 704‑687‑7829
Email :

Department of Sociology:
Phone : 704‑687‑7806
Fax : 704‑687‑1397