Student Learning Abroad: What Our Students Are Learning, What They're Not, and What We Can Do About It


A central purpose of this book is to question the claims commonly made about the educational benefits of study abroad.

Traditional metrics of enrollment increases and student self report and practices of structural immersion are being questioned as educators voice growing uncertainty about what students are or are not in fact learning abroad. This book looks into whether these criticisms are justified—and what can be done if they are.

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Student Learning Abroad: What Our Students Are Learning, What They're Not, and What We Can Do About It

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A central purpose of this book is to question the claims commonly made about the educational benefits of study abroad.

Traditional metrics of enrollment increases and student self report and practices of structural immersion are being questioned as educators voice growing uncertainty about what students are or are not in fact learning abroad. This book looks into whether these criticisms are justified—and what can be done if they are.

The contributors to this book offer the beginnings of a counter-narrative to common views that learning takes place simply through students studying elsewhere, or through their enrolling in programs that take steps structurally to “immerse” them in the experience abroad.

Student Learning Abroad reviews the dominant paradigms of study abroad; marshals rigorous research findings, with emphasis on recent studies that offer convincing evidence about what undergraduates are or are not learning; brings to bear the latest knowledge about human learning and development that raises questions about the very foundations of current theory and practice; and presents six examples of study abroad courses or programs whose interventions apply this knowledge.

This book provokes readers to re-consider long-held assumptions, beliefs and practices about teaching and learning in study abroad and to reexamine the design and delivery of their programs. In doing so, it provides a new foundation for responding to the question that may faculty and staff are now asking: What do I need to know, and what do I need to be able to do, to help my students learn and develop more effectively abroad?

Laura Bathurst Janet Bennett Milton Bennett Gabriele Weber Bosley Andrew D. Cohen John Engle Lilli Engle Mitchell Hammer David Kolb Bruce La Brack Kris Hemming Lou Catherine Menyhart R. Michael Paige Angela Passarelli Adriana Medina-López Portillo Meghan Quinn Jennifer Meta Robinson Riikka Salonen Victor Savicki Douglas Stuart Michael Vande Berg James Zull

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Voici un gros et grand livre: gros parce qu’il fait 440 pages, riches et denses, grand parce qu’il est intéressant, important, essential. Contenant dix-sept chapitres écrits par des spécialistes et praticiens de l’interculturel, il constitue une synthèse des plus remarquables sur le sujet [des études] à l’étranger."

"The book is a good source for study-abroad professionals and has the ability to provide direction for programs needing new life breathed into them, particularly at a time when budgets are shrinking, calls for accountability are increasing, and students deserve, more than ever, to have truly meaningful study-abroad experiences."

"Argues for the re-evaluation of longstanding assumptions and practices in study-abroad programs."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579227135
  • Publisher: Stylus Publishing, LLC
  • Publication date: 7/28/2012
  • Pages: 470
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Vande Berg is vice president for Academic Affairs at the Council on International Educational Exchange. He completed his PhD in comparative literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He has held leadership positions at several institutions that are unusually committed to the international education of their students, including Georgetown University; the School for International Training; Michigan State University; Kalamazoo College; and el Instituto Internacional, in Madrid, Spain. Michael has authored a wide range of international education, intercultural relations, and comparative literature publications, including Spanish-to-English translations of two classics of 20th-century Spanish literature. He has been the principal investigator of several study abroad research projects, including the Georgetown Consortium Project; frequently consults with faculty and staff about international education topics; and leads intercultural workshops in the United States and abroad. A founding board member of the Forum on Education Abroad, he now serves as a senior faculty member of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication. Michael is also the recipient of The Forum on Education Abroad’s 2012 Peter A. Wollitzer award.

R. Michael Paige is professor of international and intercultural education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. He is the cofounder of the university’s Comparative and International Development Education (CIDE) program and the EdD program for International Educators. His research in recent years has focused on the impact of study abroad, the development of intercultural competence, the internationalization of higher education, and global engagement. He has codirected or served as a research consultant on a number of major studies including Maximizing Study Abroad, the Georgetown Consortium Project, CIEE’s Transformative Power of Study Abroad, and Study Abroad for Global Engagement (SAGE). An active scholar, he has coauthored the Maximizing Study Abroad volumes, coedited Culture as the Core: Perspectives on Culture in Second Language Learning, edited Education for the Intercultural Experience, and authored numerous research articles. He is also the recipient of The Forum on Education Abroad’s 2007 Peter A. Wollitzer award.

Kris Hemming Lou has been director of international education and associate professor of international studies at Willamette University since 2003. He is an active member of the Association of International Educators (AIEA), CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange, the European Association of International Education, the Forum on Education Abroad, ISEP: International Student Exchange Programs, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. He presents frequently on issues of intercultural learning abroad and has taught in the United States, Austria, and Japan. Kris previously held faculty and administrative positions at Aquinas College (where he established the international programs office as the college’s assistant dean of International Programs & Cultural Studies), the Oregon University System, and the University of Innsbruck. His education includes studying abroad as both an undergraduate and a graduate student for more than three years in Germany (Tübingen and Munich) and the Soviet Union (Leningrad), culminating in a PhD in political science (international relations) from the University of Oregon. Kris is CEO of Hemming & Weber Consulting, LLC, which provides intercultural consulting services to educational institutions.

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Table of Contents

1) Student Learning Abroad: Paradigms and Assumptions—Michael Vande Berg, R. Michael Paige, and Kris Lou
2) Intervening in Student Learning Abroad: Recent Research—R. Michael Paige and Michael Vande Berg

3) Using Experiential Theory to Promote Learning and Development in Programs of Education Abroad—Angela Passarelli and David Kolb
4) Learning, Brain and Study Abroad—James Zull
5) Paradigmatic Assumptions of Intercultural Learning—Milton Bennett
6) The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI): A New Frontier in Assessment and Development of Intercultural Competence—Mitchell Hammer
7) What Happens When We Take Stage Development Theory Seriously?—Douglas Stuart
8) Anthropology, Intercultural Communication, and Study Abroad—Bruce La Brack and Laura Bathurst
9) The Psychology of Student Learning Abroad—Victor Savicki
10) Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Support of Student-Centered Learning Abroad—Jennifer Meta Robinson


11) Shifting the Locus of Intercultural Learning: Intervening Prior to and After Student Learning Abroad—Laura Bathurst and Bruce La Brack
12) Maximizing Study Abroad—Michael Paige
13) Facilitating Intercultural Learning Abroad—Kris Lou and Gabriele Bosley
14) Developing a Global Learning and Living Community: A Case Study of Intercultural Experiences on The Scholar Ship—Adriana Medina-López Portillo and Riikka Salonen
15) An Experiment in Developing Teaching and Learning: CIEE’s Seminar on Living and Learning Abroad—Michael Vande Berg, Meghan Quinn and Catherine Menyhart
16) Beyond Immersion: The AUCP Experiment in Holistic Intervention—Lilli Engle and John Engle

17) Intervening for Student Learning Abroad: Key Insights—Kris Lou, R. Michael Paige and Michael Vande Berg

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