Integrating Worlds, How Off-Campus Study Can Transform Undergraduate Education

Posted by Stylus Publishing on May 14, 2019

Integrating Worlds , by Scott D. Carpenter, Helena Kaufman and Malene Torp, demonstrates how high-quality off-campus study epitomizes integrative learning, both supporting and enhancing the entire undergraduate experience.

While off-campus study (both study abroad or study away) occupies a marginal position on most campuses, it has the almost unique capacity to bring together a high concentration of high-impact educational practices. When we combine global learning with collaborative work, shared intellectual pursuits, learning communities, and more, these practices reinforce each other, exerting a multiplier effect that can potentially result in the most intense learning experience our students will have. It can energize and inspire them for the work they will continue to undertake on their home campus.

At the same time, the authors recognize material constraints and educational imperatives. Off-campus study costs money. Its complexity makes it difficult to assess. It overlaps increasingly with internships and civic engagement; and by its nature, it is more subject to external forces than the on-campus experience. In careful, practical ways, Integrating Worlds advances suggestions for dealing with these issues.

This book urges educators to go beyond the episodic ways we currently link on-campus curricula to off-campus experience. While of interest to specialists in international or intercultural education, it speaks most directly to faculty, deans and provosts—many of whom may have little (or dated) experience of study abroad and who thus feel unprepared to address this issue of pressing importance.

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