Analyzing and Exploring the Global Cities: Unpacking a City Through a Course

Oct 10, 2017 4:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan


Elizabeth is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Communication major at Lasell College, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Elizabeth introduces us to a course she's taking at CAPA and how her class went on a walk through the city of Dublin.


I walked into my classroom at 10 a.m. this morning; except instead of a traditional room filled with tables and a whiteboard, my class met at a coffee shop in the center of Dublin. This semester I have the pleasure of taking CAPA’s ‘Global Cities’ course which allows the students to gain perspective and experience from the city of Dublin. The desks have been replaced with maps of the city allowing the students to indulge in the culture around them.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Dublin_From Elizabeth Leahy - Learning History and Walking Around St. Stephen's Green.pngA Walk Through the City: Learning history by walking through St. Stephen's Green

‘Analyzing and Exploring the Global Cities’ is a course offered by CAPA that provides students with the opportunity to learn about the history of their study abroad city and culture.

During our first class our professor decided to change the learning environment and took us for a walk around the local neighborhood. Throughout this 30-minute walk we learned about the buildings and businesses surrounding the school.

Our discussion may have started with simple observations of an apartment, but we soon deciphered the meaning behind the colors of the doors and window-panes. These facts were puzzle pieces that formed the history of the building and gave light to the possible types of people who lived here. These observations allowed the us to understand the history behind the neighborhood and surrounding culture.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Dublin_From Elizabeth Leahy - Around the City_4.pngA Walk Through the City: Crossing bridges and culture

“Global Cities encompasses all the aspects of studying abroad that I had hoped for... immersing us in the culture, studying architecture, observing human interaction, and getting a taste for the food/coffee,” said CAPA student, Rebecca Van Spall. “Initially as a Psychology major I thought this class would be important for my future endeavors. However, it has introduced several new perspectives into the way I look at people and them being influenced by their environment.”

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Dublin_From Elizabeth Leahy - Around the City_5.pngA Walk Through the City: Learning about the different styles of architecture

In addition to learning about the significance of the buildings in our neighborhood, Global Cities allows us to explore the rich history of Dublin. One of our classes consisted of a walking tour of the city. Each member of the course researched a historic landmark of importance to Dublin’s founding.

Throughout the walk, we discussed the different aspects of Dublin and compared our research to the current shops and buildings that now reside in the areas. In addition to tips on places to find coffee, we unearthed the facts behind how the different layers of history has influences Dublin’s unique culture. Each walk uncovers a new area and history of Dublin. By walking through the different areas of city, I have been able to piece together the city and it made it easier to navigate through the city.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Dublin_From Elizabeth Leahy - View of Dublin Castle.pngA Walk Through the City: A view of Dublin Castle

Moving forward I am excited to learn about the different aspects of Dublin’s history and rich culture. From talking to locals to visiting historic landmarks, the information is never-ending. Although it is easy to learn about a city through reading a textbook, ‘Analyzing and Exploring the Global Cities’ allows us to engage and interact with Dublin outside the classroom and our comfort zones. I cannot express how excited I am to get lost in a city I have already fallen in love with.

Thanks Elizabeth!

Elizabeth's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Dublin Program

Topics: Dublin, Ireland, International Education