With the Yale University Department of Spanish and Portuguese
In 2016, Yale Summer Session inaugurated Language, Culture and Society of Spain (SPAN S242), a program that takes place in Valencia and explores Spain’s cultural and historical past in connection with issues that inform its current society (e.g., the 1492 expulsion of Jews and current migration issues). The host university in Valencia is Universidad Católica de Valencia (UCV).
Launching off of the strong relationship developed from the Yale Summer Session, Yale and UCV have developed the Global Governance Debate (GGD) program between the two institutions. GGD furthers the students’ linguistic, academic, and cultural experience abroad. It was created in partnership between UCV and Yale: Alberto Arrufat Cárdaba (International Law) and Rosa Currás Móstoles (English), Pilar Asensio-Manrique (Spanish).
The purpose of GGD is to promote student interaction and learning. This is a recurring cultural event in which students engage in a more contextualized, meaningful collaboration, while putting their language skills into action. As part of a series of events, students from both institutions debate about a previously selected, timely topic. This activity is preceded by close interaction, preparation, and discussion. The mission of the debates is to contrast ideas, bring people together, and promote academic discussion.
On June 26, 2020 Yale and UCV hosted its third Global Governance Debate via Zoom. The 2020 debates focused on COVID-19. This third edition consisted of two events in a virtual format. On June 26, Eugenio García-Huidobro Herrera (Yale Law School) moderated a panel discussion in
Spanish with two law professors from Spain (Alberto Arrufat, UCV, and José Ramón Canedo, Universidad de Deusto), together with Yale and UCV students. The following day, June 27, six students from each institution debated, in English, about the validity of the World Health Organization response to the pandemic. Bayan Galal (Yale College, Class of 2023) a current Leadership in Global Health Fellow (Yale Institute for Global Health) was part of the panel of jurors.
The impact that the GGD initiative has on the students goes beyond the sociocultural aspects of the event: it touches on the improvement of linguistic competence with a wide range of learning activities (discussion forums, team and community building, leadership tasks), as well as the development of knowledge of Spain within the European Union, and by extension, global practices, relevant laws, statistics, and multidisciplinary content. Only demonstrable arguments–those supported by law, sciences, economics, humanities, etc.–are considered by the debate jurors. Initially developed by Yale University and UCV cooperation, the GGD is poised to further collaborative relationships with universities in the near future.
The inaugural Global Governance Debate took place on the Yale campus in March 2019. The Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS) sponsored the event, which discussed the right to universal health care. Yale International Relations Association (YIRA) collaborated in the organization and development of the debate. Bioethicist Carolyn Brokowski, PharmD/PhD (in prog.), who works as a clinical trials manager in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Yale Medical School, served as an adjudicator and helped to facilitate the discussion. UCV Economics Professor María Escrivá Beltrán and a YIRA member were also part of the jury team.
The second debate, on the protection of migrants and refugees, occurred in June 2019, as the closing event of YSS Valencia Program with the sponsorship of the Oceanogràfic. Yale Professor Leslie Harkema contributed to the discussion and served as an adjudicator.
According to one of the participants, Andreea Ciobanu (Yale College, Class of 2022), “It was an honor to participate in the first Global Governance Debate held in Valencia, Spain. My classmates and I engaged in friendly competition with students from the Universidad Católica de Valencia on the protection of migrants and refugees. We worked alongside law professors to prepare and learn how to formally debate. For many non-native speakers, myself included, articulating thoughts and building off opposing arguments in Spanish proved a challenge. Nonetheless, our efforts united both cultures in considering various sides of a crucial, international topic. The Global Governance Debate enhanced my study abroad experience and helped me gain confidence in my speaking abilities.”