The University of Minnesota's study abroad curriculum integration model is built upon a broad and deep collaboration with executive leadership, faculty, academic advisers, and study abroad professionals, as well as others who interface with students such as admissions and financial aid. All have been partners with integrating study abroad into the undergraduate experience.
Study Abroad Curriculum Integration Model
The University of Minnesota's study abroad curriculum integration model is guided by five principles:
- Partners are teachers and learners
- Ownership outside of study abroad offices
- Work within existing structures
- Long-term impact
Goals of Curriculum Integration:
- Increase integration of study abroad into all undergraduate majors and minors
- Provide additional scholarships for study abroad
- Enhance faculty/adviser awareness of the contributions that study abroad makes toward creating global citizens and well-educated students
- Develop innovative practices, materials, partnerships, and professional alliances
- 50% of each graduating class will have studied abroad
- Create long-term institutional change: a more "internationalized undergraduate experience"
Barriers to Study Abroad
The Five F's: Finances, Fit, Faculty/Advisors, Fear, Family/Friends
- We address finances by increasing study abroad scholarships, ensuring the availability of low cost study abroad options, and reminding students that financial aid can be applied to study abroad. We also train professors and advisers how to talk with students about the costs of study abroad, and we encourage them to engage students in a brief cost-benefit analysis, noting that students who study abroad are making a lifetime investment in themselves.
- We address academic fit through our work with faculty to match major coursework, internships, or research requirements to appropriate study abroad programs. Study abroad is not time away from degree progress, an extra, or an enhancement. It is integral.
- We address faculty and advisers by educating them, dispelling myths about study abroad, and enlisting their help in determining good study abroad programs for their students.
- We address fear by determining what students are fearful about and making study abroad a natural part of academic conversations.
- We address family and friends by providing information for students to share with their parents and by reminding students that they can acquire new life–long friends through study abroad.