Learning Abroad Center

Fall 2019 Education Abroad Network (EAN) Meeting

Fall 2019 Education Abroad Network (EAN) Meeting

Awareness of Group Dynamics and Student Behavior on Learning Abroad Programs

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

3-4:30 p.m. 

402 Walter Library, East Bank

Session Description

Group dynamics and student behavior on learning abroad programs can make or break the experience for the program instructor, the host culture, and sometimes the overall student cohort.  June Nobbe, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life and Learning Abroad Center staff will share strategies and resources that have been employed to minimize the negative effects of student behaviors and dynamics on instructor-led and LAC center-based programs.  Examples include personality clashes, dealing with cliques, inter-group political or identity clashes, and lack of respectful engagement. How can we as a university community be an ally to students as they embark on a program abroad?  

Following presentations, ample time will be reserved for discussing how we can initiate conversations to students to think more about how they will be perceived in a different cultural context, how to navigate a new peer cohort and ways to encourage students to practice self-awareness in the host culture.

June Nobbe is Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life. She has led multiple Global Seminars to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Turkey, Argentina, and  Panama. June has developed a semester-long cultural engagement curriculum for Learning Abroad Center programs in Rome, Florence, Montpellier, and Istanbul.

Ross VeLure Roholt is Associate Professor and Director of the Youth Development Leadership Program.  Ross has led study abroad programs to Croatia, Northern Ireland, and to the Netherlands and South Africa.  He has lived and worked in both Northern Ireland and Japan prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, where he also led student groups in cultural exchanges and in study abroad programs.  Ross will share what he has done to build learning communities and enhance participatory learning and peer-mentoring within international educational opportunities.    

LIndsey Lahr is a Program Director at the Learning Abroad Center (LAC). She oversees the LAC's Instructor-led Seminar Series programs and Summer Internships in Panama program. Lindsey develops resources and training sessions to guide instructors on leading programs abroad.  During her tenure at the Learning Abroad Center she has worked with over 100 instructors for the LAC Seminar Series.

Holly Zimmerman is a program director at the Learning Abroad Center (LAC).  She directs the LAC’s programs in Argentina, Madrid and Toledo, Spain.  In her many years of working in the LAC, Holly has worked with over 20 programs and has dealt with countless student issues and concerns.  During graduate school, she worked as a language coordinator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and was part of the team that started the Toledo, Spain program.  A fun fact about Holly is that she was knighted by the Spanish government in 2008 due to her commitment and work in Spain.  

Session Presentation and Resources

Presentation (pdf)
Excellence in Leading Programs Abroad Series (pdf)