MSGC in Charlottesville: A New Kind of “Academical Village”

Hi y’all! My name is Katherine Campbell and I am originally from Danville, Virginia. I recently completed my undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Business (Finance) and Music. I’m excited to be sharing the M.S. in Global Commerce experience with you from the students’ perspective.

The second class of MSGC students have kicked off their one-year, international business experience in the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia. C’ville, as the locals fondly call it, is home to many attractions, from wineries and breweries, to the bustling Downtown Mall and the Blue Ridge Parkway just down the road. The 25,000+ students that make up the University of Virginia are also a vital part of the Cville community.

One of our first activities as a group was a historical tour of UVA’s Grounds. We learned that the center point of the university, the Lawn, was designed by Thomas Jefferson as an Academical Village, which is made up of not only the Rotunda and classrooms, but also student and faculty housing. The purpose of this design was to create a place where the students and faculty could live and learn together on Grounds. I was impressed that this tradition continues today, and we were able to experience it from day one when Carl Zeithaml, Dean of the McIntire School of Commerce, invited us to his home on the Lawn for a welcome picnic.

I would argue, though, that the Lawn is not the only embodiment of this concept at UVA this fall. The new class of MSGC students has created their own academical village that travels around Grounds as a group of 60 students from 15 different countries. It’s an understatement to say we attract attention wherever we go!

Not only do we attend class discussions and work in thesis groups together, we also live with and learn from each other outside of the classroom. Each member of the MSGC class brings a unique perspective and cultural experience to “the village.” In the first 2 weeks of moving to Charlottesville, we’ve been able to taste traditional Chinese dishes, introduce classmates to American football (go ‘Hoos!), and hear conversations take place in more than 5 different languages!

I know this semester in Charlottesville is going to fly by, and before we know it, we’ll be moving our academical village to China and then Spain. For now, though, I am excited to experience everything Charlottesville has to offer and soak up life as a Wahoo for the next 3 months along with the other members of the MSGC class.

– Katherine Campbell, M.S. in Global Commerce ’18

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