In the late 1990s, the University of Minnesota began a pilot project to test new ways to integrate study abroad into the curricula. The Learning Abroad Center and the Institute of Technology (IT) looked for proactive ways to encourage IT students to study abroad as part of their undergraduate degree programs. 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 University of Minnesota placed priority on providing international perspectives as part of the undergraduate experience. Past presidents Mark Yudof and Robert Bruininks enthusiastically supported study abroad as 1 way to integrate international perspectives into the curriculum.
With encouragement from top administrators, grants were pursued to fund the development of this model in a way that could be shared with other institutions. Grants were awarded by FIPSE and the Bush Foundation, and the integration work expanded to nearly every college on all 4 campuses at the University of Minnesota. The links below are pathways to extensive grant-related archives.
The University of Minnesota study abroad curriculum integration team has also been invited to consult on internationalizing initiatives with Penn State, Iowa State, Michigan State University, Colorado State, the University of Kansas, and the Georgia State system. The University of Minnesota was also invited to participate as the successful curriculum integration case study for the national hearing and regional conferences of the Abraham Lincoln Commission on Study Abroad Fellowships.