1st Edition

Integrating Study Abroad Into the Curriculum Theory and Practice Across the Disciplines

Edited By Elizabeth Brewer, Kiran Cunningham Copyright 2010

    With the increased interest in study abroad from government, educators, employers and students, the question is: is study abroad engendering the desired intercultural competencies and intellectual development?To achieve this goal, this book proposes two strategies: structure study abroad to bridge the separation of academic learning from experiential and intercultural learning; and integrate study abroad with the undergraduate curriculum.In proposing this integration, the editors take into account the need for institutional change, and recognize faculty members’ concerns about maintaining the integrity of the curriculum, teaching in areas outside their expertise, and keeping up with ever-evolving institutional missions.This book opens with two chapters presenting different theoretical perspectives relevant to the integration of study abroad into the curriculum. The following nine chapters provide examples from a variety of disciplines – from anthropology and religious studies, to literature, urban studies, biology and public health – and within such contexts as distance learning, service learning, and the senior thesis. The concluding chapter considers faculty development activities and institutional structures and policies that support curriculum integration. While the examples are drawn from Beloit College and Kalamazoo College – liberal arts colleges with substantial study abroad enrollments, and nationally recognized for their innovative practices – readers will recognize they are easily adaptable to their own institutions. The two colleges achieved their curricular innovations with limited financial resources, and in the context that most of their students are dependent on financial aid. The transformational ideas and practices described here provide material for reflection and campus conversations for anyone concerned with developing global citizens and well-educated students, and offer a blueprint for implementation.

    Introduction—Elizabeth Brewer and Kiran Cunningham 1. Capturing Study Abroad’s Transformational Potential—Elizabeth Brewer and Kiran Cunningham 2. Lessons from Geography. Mental Maps and Spatial Narratives—Darren Kelly 3. Preparatory Courses for Students going to Divergent Sites. Two Examples—Elizabeth Brewer and Jan Solberg 4. Culture, Religion and Nationality. Developing Ethnographic Skills and Reflective Practices Connected to Study Abroad—Carol Anderson and Kiran Cunningham 5. Embedding Preparation in Language Courses. Bonn and Erlangen—Jennifer Redmann 6. Semiotics and the City. Putting Theories of Everyday Life, Literature, and Culture into Practice—Darren Kelly 7. Cool Cities. Kalamazoo and Carthage. The Intersection of Service Learning and Intercultural Learning—Anne Haeckl and Elizabeth Manwell 8. Chinese Cities in Transition. The City as Classroom—Daniel Youd 9. Health and Micro-Credit. Beloit as a Laboratory for Understanding Nicaragua—Nancy Krusko 10. Building Global Awareness through Biology, Public Health and Study Abroad. How Science Study Can Prepare Students for Study Abroad, and How Study Abroad Can Prepare Scientists for Citizenship—Marion Fass and Ann Fraser 11. Synthesis and Career Preparation. The International Relations Senior Thesis—Pablo Toral 12. Capacity Building for Study Abroad Integration. The Institution and the Faculty—Elizabeth Brewer and Kiran Cunningham Index


    Elizabeth Brewer is Director, International Education, at Beloit College. Kiran Cunningham is Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College. Madeleine F. Green is Vice President for International Initiatives at the American Council on Education

    "How can colleges and universities take the immense potential of study abroad and integrate what students are learning and experiencing abroad into the wider curriculum on the home campus? This is the central question Elizabeth Brewer and Kiran Cunningham address in their timely edited volume. Especially now, when greater numbers of institutions of higher education are searching for ways to internationalize their profile and offerings, this book presents a wide range of strategies aimed at effectively integrating the benefits of time spent abroad with developments in the home campus curriculum. Drawing on a wealth of study abroad experience, this book focuses on the intentional integration of students’ educational and personal experiences abroad for transformational learning and development at home."

    Comparative Education Review

    “Betsy Brewer and Kiran Cunningham’s book is a welcome and unique addition to the literature on campus internationalization. The authors recognize that significant internationalization is less about counting how many students go abroad and how many programs are available than about student learning. Moreover, they and their co-authors fully understand that if student learning – and even transformation – is to occur, then the experience of education abroad must be deeply connected with and supported by the learning at home, and deeply valued by the faculty on the home campus. And this, as the authors indicate, will occur only if campuses are willing to invest in faculty learning in and about international contexts."

    Martha C. Merrill, Associate Professor, Higher Education, and Coordinator, International Education Certificate, Kent State University

    "The editors and authors of this book are in a unique position to distill the lessons from their experiences for a wider audience.

    This book provides both useful theoretical frameworks to apply in designing pre- and post-study abroad programs and helping students be reflective about their learning. It also provides many descriptive examples of how these frameworks are applied in very different courses and disciplines. It situates study abroad in the wider context of student learning and development theory and campus internationalization and provides rich detail that will help readers adapt these approaches to their own courses and institutions.

    The challenges of internationalization are clear. Elizabeth Brewer and Kiran Cunningham and their colleagues combine sound research and the lessons of experience in the classroom to help advance good practice in study abroad."

    From the Foreword by Madeleine F. Green, Vice President for International Initiatives, American Council on Education