Learning Abroad Center

Strategies for Working with Students

We hope you are willing and able to recommend, encourage and support study abroad for your students. If a student comes to you wondering if study abroad is for her/him we hope you'll encourage them to attend a First Step Meeting. If the student has already done so, they can meet with a Program Selection Adviser in the Learning Abroad Center. Scheduled and drop-in appointments as well as the First Step Meeting schedule are available and found on the Advising Hours page. 

Please remember that we do not expect you to have deep or detailed knowledge of the abroad programs offered at the UofM or the financial options for students considering these programs. That is what the advisers in the Learning Abroad Center specialize in. It is typical for a student to be referred to their academic adviser(s) for information on how study abroad coursework will fit into their degree plan and then referred back to the Learning Abroad Center to discuss program options or finances in depth. If you would like detailed information on the processes of the Learning Abroad Center, consider attending a Basic Adviser Training session.

Strategies to Encourage Study Abroad 

Discipline-Specific Learning

Study abroad can permit students to take:

  • Courses that supplement the home campus curriculum
  • Courses designed to take particular advantage of local resources
  • Courses that substitute for courses at home in order to allow for study abroad
  • Courses with outstanding local pedagogues, and/or that expose students to different perspectives on the discipline
  • Courses that supplement or substitute home campus curricula, offering access to different pedagogical styles
  • Courses that have US students learning in discipline-specific courses with host country students
  • Field research projects
  • Discipline-specific internships or voluntary work experiences

Placement of a Discipline in its International Context

Different experiences can help students understand other ways of knowing, other perspectives on disciplinary content and methods, etc., including:

  • Instruction by host country faculty
  • Study in the classroom with host country students
  • Study in host country classrooms, laboratories, and workshops
  • Apprenticeships with host country practitioners
  • Research in collaboration with host country researchers
  • Attendance at international meetings and conferences
  • Internships and work experiences

Country/Region-Specific Learning

Students can learn about another society and culture through such means as:

  • Disciplinary or interdisciplinary coursework related to the country or region
  • Coursework on contemporary social mores or on intercultural learning in specific environments
  • Exposure to different educational system
  • Curriculum-related travel
  • Lecture and presentation series by local speakers, performers
  • Fieldwork
  • Internships and apprenticeships

Language Acquisition

Students can develop or improve language skills through such means as:

  • Coursework
  • Homestays
  • Selection of site to favor immersion
  • Conversation partners
  • Opportunities for formal and informal presentations in the target language
  • Oral Proficiency Inventory testing
  • Language pledges
  • Community involvement

Student Development

Study abroad can be transformative for its participants. Among the outcomes often cited are improvement in critical thinking skills, cross-cultural skills and perspectives, tolerance for ambiguity, self-confidence, independence, flexibility, self-knowledge, appreciation of difference, reevaluation of personal values, new direction and skills for job/career path, and new perspectives on American society and culture and on the US role in the world.

  • Orientation program
  • Intercultural training
  • Required journaling
  • Opportunities for local engagement, including community service
  • Homestays, host-country dorm roommates, or other integrated living situations
  • Career-related opportunities
  • Re-entry training
  • Appropriate mechanisms for fostering independence and self-direction