Enhancing Your Undergraduate Degree with International Learning Experiences: the Benefits and Challenges for both Students and University Administrators

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 8:57am

Research indicates that a well-facilitated international learning experience can be a deeply transformative part of a student’s university education. With educators and students alike increasingly supporting engaged learning, intercultural sensitivity, and global awareness, one would expect more and more students to include an international learning experience as part of their undergraduate studies, with university programs reflecting that demand and in some cases driving it by promoting curriculum development that enhances local and international intercultural experiences. With few exceptions this is not the case across Canada.

This presentation highlights some of the pedagogical benefits of international learning, and some of the challenges that universities face in developing state-of-the-art programs that facilitate this form of education. It also offers some best practices.

Michel Desjardins is Associate Dean of Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, and co-editor of The World is My Classroom: International Learning and Canadian Higher Education (U of Toronto Press, 2013).

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