In the late 1990s, the University of Minnesota (UofM) began a pilot project to test new ways to integrate study abroad into the curriculum. This pilot project increased student participation substantially, doubling participation each year. It offered a model for interactions with other academic units. Meanwhile, the leadership of the UofM placed priority on providing international perspectives as part of the undergraduate experience. Past presidents Mark Yudof and Robert Bruininks enthusiastically supported study abroad as one way to integrate international perspectives into the curriculum.
With encouragement from top administrators, the Learning Abroad Center (LAC) pursued grants to fund the development of this model in a way that could be shared with other institutions. The LAC received grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and then the Bush Foundation. The University expanded integration work to nearly every college on all UofM campuses (four at that time). The focus was on the long-term impact that a transformation of study abroad attitudes and behaviors could bring to our institution.
Read more about the 20th anniversary of curriculum integration at the University of Minnesota.