Study Abroad and Curricular Transformation with Resource Limitations

November 6, 2009 - 7:30-8:30pm
Questions about Study Abroad Integration in Times of Financial Uncertainty

  1. How is the current financial situation affecting study abroad at your institutions in terms of its priority for the institution, faculty and students, participation rates, the use of particular programs, eligibility for study abroad, transfer of financial aid, and so on.
    • It has had little effect at this point. A "wait and see" mentality is prevailing.
    • Some price sensitivity has resulted with regards to package comparisons. Anecdotal student concerns were expressed.
    • People recognize the importance of the 'global experience' and as of yet we have not seen a drop in participation rates.
    • More of a focus exists on getting students into one's own programs.
    • Some institutions are capping the number of students to a program, esp. expensive ones.
  2. Policy makers and educators advocate for making study abroad more inclusive in terms of who studies abroad and what they study. How are your institutions responding to this call? How is the financial crisis affecting your efforts?
    • This is key when it is a two-way exchange.
    • Some colleges are paying in full for those dependent on financial aid.
    • Look at curriculum integration more closely and the requirements, etc.
  3. How can partnerships, informal and formal, with colleges, universities, and organizations help?
    • Bringing faculty over and having summer programs for just students/hybrids.
    • Need to do a better job of integrating international students.
    • Custom design/flexibility of interaction within faculty.
    • Support of consortium groups (ACM/GLCA) helps immensely.
    • Cross-institutional collaboration with two institutions' representatives.
  4. How can collaborations with other campus units – development, career services, student affairs, academic affairs – help?
    • Integrate international/intercultural – making connection between inter-cultural domestic and international students.
    • Faculty linked through institutions.
  5. Volunteering, internships, research, and travel represent additional ways for students to obtain international experience. How can we bring what students learn through these experiences into our teaching? What are the implications for institutions financially and educationally if more students turn to these opportunities in lieu of formal study abroad?
    • Through the faculty-led research experience
    • Closing the vacation term loop
    • Differences of opinion about faculty-led small group short-term travel – how do we measure the value of the opportunities?
  6. Faculty engagement with study abroad is critical if it is to be integrated into the curriculum. How can institutions provide opportunities for faculty to gain the knowledge and skills to do this work despite financial cutbacks?
    • NSF grant to lead study abroad/research program
    • Get away from the culture of credentials
    • Much debate about the value of getting faculty engaged by leading student groups