Study Abroad Instructional Design

The instructional design of study abroad is about the intentional intervention of educators in what students do during a structured international education experience.  Sometimes this includes time before the students travel and even time after they return.  Mostly, this happens through classes that students take at a college or university, and during travel to an international location.  This experience might be a single class for a few days, or a few weeks, or four or five classes for a whole semester, or even year.  In significant ways  students take away different outcomes from the experience; from the friends they make, who they live with, what they do in their free time, their urban/rural environment, to their own goals and intentions, and the desired lessons they wanted when they started their study abroad.  Study abroad is, by definition, “an educational programme whereby U.S. students go abroad for part of their degree for which they receive credits that transfer back into their scheme of study” (Woolf, 2011), and therefore, designed by instructors and administrators at educational institutions.

One model is embedded faculty-led study abroad.  This model combines classroom based instruction at the student’s home university with study abroad instruction during the course of the class.  This embedded model of study abroad often shortens the international experience to 7 to 14 days, over which the instructor and students travel together.  The doctoral work that I have carried out at the University of Delaware’s School of Education considers this model of study abroad teaching and learning.  For a bibliographical resources on the instructional design of study abroad see my works cited.

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