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

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9781579227135: 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.

The contributors to this book offer 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 reconsider 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?

Contributors:
Laura Bathurst
Milton Bennett
Gabriele Weber Bosley
John Engle
Lilli Engle
Tara Harvey
Mitchell Hammer
David Kolb
Bruce La Brack
Kris Hemming Lou
Kate McCleary
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

While the authors who have contributed to Student Learning Abroad are all known for their work in advancing the field of education abroad, a number have recently been honored by leading international education associations. Bruce La Brack received NAFSA’s 2012 Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Award for Innovative Research and Scholarship. Michael Paige (2007) and Michael Vande Berg (2012) are recipients of the Forum on Education Abroad’s Peter A. Wollitzer Award.

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About 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.

Review:

"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." (French Review Vol. 87.1)

"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." (Peggy Delmas, University of Southern Alabama The Review of Higher Education)

"Argues for the re-evaluation of longstanding assumptions and practices in study-abroad programs." (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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