Winter 2024

What role does sport play in a society? Given their deep sporting history and current success on the world stage, London (England) and Seville (Spain) provide rich and unique opportunities to investigate how sport and society intersect, as well as how globalization impacts each. The program will critically examine sport and sporting culture in both countries.

Message from Faculty Director

Bob Carlson FD website

I am thrilled to be returning to London and Sevilla in 2024 and eager to once again share a love of sport, learning, and travel with enthusiastic, curious, and bright Carleton students. Since 2014, I’ve had the honor to help students of all abilities and experiences enjoy the rewards of using sport as a catalyst for cultural understanding and personal growth in these two fascinating cities. While studying, living, and playing in each, we excitingly immerse ourselves as fans, active participants, observers, and coaches and anyone with an interest in sport and international connections will gain lasting and meaningful insights. From learning with and from cutting edge European speakers to attending top level women’s and men’s matches to visiting historic sites to teaching young athletes in a four week long service project in Sevilla, we together create a once in lifetime adventure at the intersection of sport and culture.

Bob Carlson, Professor of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation, has taught and
coached soccer at Carleton since 1997.


Learning Goals

  • To understand how sport intersects with society in a globalized world. By living and studying in two distinct and unfamiliar cultures, the goal is to expand students’ worldview on how sport influences, enhances, and impacts their daily lives and the lives of others 
  • To understand key issues in the study of globalization and development by applying case studies from the world of football
  • To use new methods of teaching skills, structure, and strategies of team-oriented sports in a cross-cultural setting to conduct a free clinic for Seville school children
  • To grow personally and further appreciate life in an interconnected world by being immersed in different cultures throughout the program


Students must have sophomore, junior, or senior status in the 2023-2024 academic year.

Course of Study (18 Credits)

Students enroll in three regular courses and an additional independent reading course for a total of 18 credits. POSC 238 counts as POSC elective, POSI elective (POSI-DSS).

PE 338: Global Athletics (6 Credits)

With their rich history and current success, English and Spanish sport will serve as a framework to examine the emergence of contemporary athletics and current issues facing participants, coaches, administrators, and spectators. The course will explore the world of sport and specifically football (soccer) from a generalist’s perspective.  London and Seville will provide rich and unique opportunities to learn how sport and society intersect. With classroom activities, site visits, field trips to matches, museums, and stadiums students will examine sport from an historical and cultural perspective while keeping in mind how our globalized world impacts sport. Lastly, we will seek to understand ways athletics can break down barriers and create understanding between others. 

Instructor: Bob Carlson

POSC 238: Globalization and Development: Lessons from International Football (6 Credits)

This course uses international football (soccer) as a lens to analyze topics in globalization, such as immigration and labor, inequality, foreign investment, trade in services, and intellectual property. Students will be presented with key debates in these areas and then use cases from international football as illustrations. Focusing on the two wealthiest leagues in Europe, the English Premier League and the Spanish Liga, students will address key issues in the study of globalization and development, and in doing so enhance their understanding of the world, sports, and sport’s place in the world.

Instructor: Jonathan Hopkin, London School of Economics

PE 340: Introductory Coaching Practicum (4 Credits) / PE 174: PE Activity Credit

Designed for students who may or may not have any previous playing or coaching experience, this course will cover introductory methods of coaching and teaching young athletes. Specifically, students will practice methods of teaching skills, structure, and strategies of team-oriented sports. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the coaching profession at different levels, developing coaching skills and creating a philosophy of coaching in a cross-cultural setting.

*The practicum centers on a service- learning project in Seville offering free sport clinics to a local school. No previous coaching experience required.

Instructor: Bob Carlson

PE 290: Directed Reading (2 Credits S/CR/NC)

Prior to departure, students will read selected works that highlight the sporting and cultural history of Great Britain and Spain. Understanding of these readings will be evaluated through discussion and written work in London and Seville. Students will also complete two short projects to prepare for observing, coaching, and examining sport abroad.

Instructor: Bob Carlson

Program Features


Students will be housed in apartments in London and homestays in Seville.


In addition to attendance at professional matches and other sporting events within and around each city, there will be visits to athletic clubs and museums, opportunities to hear from leaders in the sports industry and participation in a variety of cultural and sporting activities. Also included are two trips outside London and Seville, plus a service-learning project at a local school in Seville.