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Jenna Beers / Senior Staff Designer

The Columbia community has never been so diverse. Your roommate is from Australia. Your lab partner’s from Brazil. Even your parents grew up on different continents. In an increasingly global world, you’ve gotta get more educated.

Columbia College and General Studies students must take two Global Core classes to graduate. SEAS can take Global Core to fulfil their humanities requirement, too. Barnard has Cultures in Comparison, which is practically the same thing. Suffice to say, if you’re a Columbia student, you’ll probably take a Global Core class at some point.  

I know what you’re thinking: all these history classes with long essays, strange countries, and weird names? Outrageous! Unfortunately, it looks like for now those pesky classes are here to stay.

With registration going on, here are Spectrum’s top five classes to fulfil your Global Core requirement with minimal effort.

1. Sacred Landscapes of the Ancient Andes 
Professor: Amanda V Gannaway
What could be cooler than an art history class about mountains? That’s right: You can literally fulfill your Global requirement by staring at mountains. I’ll let the class bulletin speak for itself: “Class sessions will be focused on specific case studies that highlight the material dimensions of the so-called sacred landscapes of a number of ancient Andean cultures.” That rocks!

2. Cinema and Society in Asia and Africa 
Professor: Hamid Dabashi
Who doesn’t like movies? And who doesn’t like Asia? And who doesn’t like Africa? Surely you can’t hate all three! Prepare for a class that lets you earn credit by talking about movies from Israeli, Turkish, and Iranian cinema. And if you get bored, you can always just fall asleep in the darkly lit theater.

3. Introduction to the Musics of East Asia and Southeast Asia 
Professors: Shannon J. Garland and Emily H. Clark
Wind chimes, weird looking violins, and pentatonic scales—there can’t be more to Asian music than that, right? Well, there probably is, but you can learn that from someone who’s paid to teach the subject. Learn how Asian civilization shapes those distinct Eastern sounds, all from the comfort of your iPhone.

4. Chinese Religious Traditions
Professor: Zhaohua Yang
Want to know what’s behind those cool Chinese robes and temples? Want to learn the difference between Confucius and Buddha? Here’s a class where you can learn what exactly inspired the Chinese to pray the way they pray without being labeled sacrilegious. Spoiler: It’s nothing like Avatar

5. Japanese Anime and Beyond: Gender, Power and Transnational Media
Professor: Hikari Hori 
To all you anime nerds out there—and I know you exist because the trashcans in my residence building were filled with Zelda costumes last time Cosplay was in town— this is the perfect course for you. You’ve probably seen and read all those anime comics about a thousand times—now you just need to write about it! But fair warning: The description states that it’s an upper-level undergraduate and graduate seminar (though that’s probably just some marketing spiel to make sure only the truly dedicated enroll).

Check out Spectator's registration planning tool kit, Courses@CU.
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