You can’t get a global education without professors who are themselves globally trained and committed to bringing the world into their classroom teaching.

Grinnell College faculty are resolutely international. Some of them were born outside the United States, while others have spent considerable time living outside the U.S. All of them, however, understand their field of expertise in global terms, and they bring that perspective into their classes.

In a biology class, for example, you might read a scientific paper written by an Australian scientist. In your political science class, you may do a presentation on the different voting systems of Latin America. Your Introduction to Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies will make you aware of the economic status of women across the globe. And your German seminar may focus on the current debates in contemporary German culture.

Grinnell has a number of interdisciplinary concentrations that allow students to understand global issues and regions from a variety of perspectives. For example, the Global Development Studies concentration includes courses in economics, anthropology, and the foreign languages. Russian, Central, and Eastern European Studies has courses in history, political science, and Russian. Environmental Studies has courses in biology, chemistry, economics, and political science. There are also more informal clusters of courses around themes such as Peace & Conflict Studies, and Migration and Nationalism.

Don’t overlook the variety of short courses taught by visiting international scholars and artists, organized by the Center for International Studies. You could take a six-week course with a Russian specialist of cinema, or a three-week course on “Human Rights” taught by a Sri Lankan political scientist.

Grinnell puts tremendous resources into keeping faculty up-to-date in global knowledge. Many faculty go abroad to do research or attend academic conferences. The Center for International Studies organizes a biannual Faculty Development Seminar to take a group of faculty to a specific site to deepen their teaching and scholarly knowledge.

You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn about the world in the many conversations you’ll have with Grinnell professors, both inside and outside the classroom.  


  • Some recent courses offered at Grinnell include “Human Rights: Foundations, Challenges and Choices,” “Constructing the Spanish City” “Europe Under the Great Dictators,” “African Music,” and “The Effect of Climate Change on Organisms”
  • Grinnell faculty are currently doing research in China, Mongolia, Ukraine, France, Germany, Peru, Denmark, Canada, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Colombia, Greece, Italy, England, Bolivia, Russia and England, among other places.
  • Grinnell faculty speak many languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Bosnian, Macedonian, Kiswahili, Afrikaans, Yucatec Mayan, West Indian Creole, and Catalan, among others.
  • Read the report of Ari Anisfeld ’09 during his trip to Costa Rica as part of his course on “Sustainable Development in Costa Rica”
  • David Campbell, the Luce Professor of Nations and the Global Environment, has eight permanent study sites in the Brazilian Amazon, studying over 22,000 trees.
  • Some of the recent international visiting scholars have been professors from England, Sri Lanka, France, India, Poland, and Germany.