Short-Term Study Abroad Programs

As part of the continuing effort to advance the MCC study abroad goal of providing distinctive learning experiences and professional development that foster lifelong success, we seek MCC faculty input for developing short-term-term study abroad programs. The market for short-term-term programs has grown dramatically, and recent data show that more than half of all students studying abroad participated in short-term-term programs (NAFSA 2010).

Proposals are reviewed by the study abroad coordinator and the International Institute Advisory Board, and an interview will follow. It is essential to share your proposal with your supervisor, prior to submission, in order to avoid potential scheduling conflicts (email confirmation from a Dean is adequate)

The initial Study abroad faculty proposal form needs to be completed and submitted to Jessica Esperanza via email ([email protected]).

Plan a Trip for Your Students

students group at factory

Given the rationale for and contexts of study abroad programming, it is important to consider academic as well as non-academic learning outcomes. In addition to academic outcomes, faculty/staff should consider what they hope to achieve in terms of students' intercultural, interpersonal, personal, and/or professional learning and development. Prospective faculty/staff program leaders are encouraged to talk about desirable learning outcomes with experienced colleagues as well as with colleagues in the International Institute.

This also reflects MCC's Undergraduate Learning and Global Competency Goals by contextualizing them within education abroad. This is a work in progress and is intended to expand and change as our thinking about student learning on education abroad evolves.

  • Academic development and intellectual growth
  • Personal growth
  • Professional development
  • On-campus internationalization of MCC
  • Skills for engaging with culturally different others

Academic Development and Intellectual Growth

Study abroad can …

  • Provide a new perspective on the major through exposure to coursework based in different cultural frames of reference and/or taught by local instructors
  • Expose students to academic content not available on the home campus
  • Contextualize learning by linking it to local realities (including community engagement and service-learning) and related global dimensions
  • Provide guided reflection on different ways of knowing
  • Provide structured opportunities for comparative analysis, critical and creative thinking, and problem-solving
  • Enhance students' country-, region-, and culture-specific learning through pre-departure, on-site, and post-program interventions focused on geography, history, politics, literature, etc.
  • Motivate students to begin or continue learning another language by exposing them to structured situations, inside and outside of the classroom, which will significantly facilitate the development of language skills in the context of culture
  • Engage students in research projects with local students and faculty
  • Provide opportunities for students to give presentations about their education abroad projects/experiences on the home campus and/or at meetings of professional associations
  • Stimulate students' sense of curiosity through engagement with the local cultures

Personal Growth

Students can develop personally by …

  • Forming meaningful relationships and friendships with local people through home stays, local clubs, volunteer opportunities, etc.
  • Reevaluating their values, vocation, and personal ethics, facilitated by reflective journaling assignments and structured reflection sessions
  • Expanding their comfort zone in a context of balanced challenge and support so as to enhance their ability to (inter)act in unfamiliar situations
  • Experiencing a sense of self-sufficiency by mastering and reflecting on difficult situations
  • Reflecting on issues of personal identity and interdependence in a global context
  • Developing a sense of social responsibility through engagement with local communities

Professional Development

Study abroad programs can …

  • Provide opportunities to students for meeting professionals in their chosen field of study so they may learn how to relate professionally with culturally different others (in labs, businesses, professional organizations)
  • Integrate internships, service learning, community engagement and other opportunities for experiencing local work life
  • Offer pre-departure and post-program frameworks designed to help students make connections between learning on study abroad and their career paths
  • Provide opportunities on site and post-program for students to reflect on skills learned and knowledge gained
  • Provide a structures for exploring future professional direction

On-campus Internationalization of MCC

Our students’ international learning experiences add value to the on-campus experience by …

  • Infusing the classroom with the various cultural perspectives to better prepare students for education abroad and be more receptive to the global or comparative perspectives of returned education abroad students
  • Building on faculty's regional expertise and connections to identify suitable locations and partner institutions, linking education abroad to faculty scholarship and research, and expanding existing institutional links and networks that contribute to the department's research agenda
  • Including student research on education abroad programs
  • Linking faculty and student expertise gained through education abroad with strategic initiatives at the departmental, college, and university levels, thus making education abroad programming sustainable

Skills for Engaging with Culturally Different Others

While skills including the ability to deal with ambiguity, be flexible, and take the perspective of a culturally different person, cut across the other three categories of student learning, they also warrant separate treatment as central to learning through education abroad.

Education abroad programs can facilitate intercultural learning by …

  • Enhancing students' self-awareness and understanding of their own culture with opportunities to compare and contrast host country customs, values, and traditions with their own
  • Allowing time for structured and unstructured encounters with local people and customs in a variety of contexts
  • Providing opportunities for exposure to, interaction with, and reflection on everyday aspects of the host culture through taking classes at the local university, engaging in recreational activities with local students, home stays, service-learning opportunities, individual projects, participation in local customs/celebrations, etc.
  • Encouraging students to experience the world through the eyes of the other culture by exposing them to the literature and arts of the local culture
  • Preparing students for intercultural experiences through pre-departure orientation, readings, and other media
  • Helping students realize and articulate their intercultural learning and identity development through post-program reflection
  • Requiring attendance at regularly scheduled on-site reflection sessions during which critical encounters with the host culture are analyzed
  • Helping students make connections between the host country's culture, society, history, politics, and arts

FAQs for Faculty

Faculty-led study abroad programs are short-term programs that are academic in nature and designed to give students hands-on international experiences that relate to their academic goals.

It is important to take into consideration the type of student who you will be targeting for this program. Are many of your students non-traditional? Do they work full or part-time? Do they have families or children? If you answered yes to any of these you should plan to keep your trip between 10 and 14 days. If your students are more traditional (live on campus, have more flexibility) – you should plan your program in any length up to one month.

There is no additional salary or stipends for leading programs abroad. Expenses such as airfare, lodging, meals, etc will be covered for each faculty leader by building them into the program budget. Faculty travel funds could be used for a faculty-led study abroad program. Consult with your division travel committee representative.

Faculty-led program budgets are NOT based on per diem rates because the money is coming directly from the students. Faculty should budget a fair amount of money for their meals and exact cost of lodging when building the budget to keep the program cost as low as possible for students. Typically, for faculty-led programs abroad we will budget $40-$70/day for faculty meals.

It is best to start planning your program 12 months in advance. This gives you time to start talking about the program to your students and to work with the study abroad coordinator on the approval and planning process.

If students know about the program far enough in advance, they can tell their financial aid advisor about the increased cost of attendance and potentially get more financial aid to help with the program cost. Students and faculty program coordinators can work with the study abroad coordinator to get appropriate paperwork to supply to the Office of Financial Aid if needed.

There are many ways to consider keeping the cost of the program down.

  • The first is to recruit 10 to 15 students to go on the trip. Group rates are typically based on a minimum of 10 students.
  • There are tour companies that run programs in many countries for many groups at one time. The upside is that the program cost is very low. The downside is that the places you visit are set on their itinerary. However, you are given time for course work and assignments specific to your group.
  • Combine your program with another teacher/university.
  • grants and/or have fundraisers to support your program.

No. The study abroad coordinator will help to smooth the process for you. There are also many private providers that work to help you customize your program and reduce your stress. These providers do not typically impact the cost of the program very much because they work with hotels and transportation services and get commission from them. The trend in study abroad for faculty is to take advantage of the providers who are here to help you.