Learning Abroad Center

Global Seminar

Global Seminars

Global Seminars are short-term, cohort-based programs that allow students to interact closely with a University of Minnesota program leader. Global Seminars use the host country as a classroom and are experiential and interdisciplinary.

Proposal and Review Process

Global Seminars have a dual mission to serve University of Minnesota students and academic departments in the following ways:

Students:

  • to make learning abroad accessible to all University of Minnesota students
  • to serve as a gateway to further international opportunities
  • to cultivate community through shared academic experiences abroad

Academic departments:

  • to internationalize curriculum
  • to provide international leadership opportunities 
  • to establish academic and professional connections abroad
  • to encourage broader international engagement at the University of Minnesota

Features

  • Short-term (winter break or May session)
  • Designed around a particular theme or topic
  • May be discipline-specific or interdisciplinary
  • Three credits at the 3000-level
  • No prerequisites
  • Fulfill liberal education requirements
  • Enrollment of up to 25 students
  • Open to all undergraduate students (from the UofM or another institution) with at least a 2.5 GPA

Model

  • Provides the highest level of support from the Learning Abroad Center for program development, administration, and implementation
  • Follows a pre-established program timeline and framework
  • Engages leaders in a cohort of peers also leading programs abroad 
  • Provides support to leaders who may have limited experience leading programs abroad
  • LAC Provides modest salary and fringe for one program leader

Structure

Global Seminars typically consist of:

  • 2–3 orientation sessions covering (not coursework):
    • Health and Safety
    • Travel hints
    • Local context (how to be respectful in country destination)
    • Course information (e.g., itinerary, rhythm of the days, role of homework and research)
  • Round-trip group flight (May session students may have the option to extend their return date and travel independently after the program ends)
  • 45 hours of classroom instruction and excursions
  • Field assignments and free time
  • Final project

Locations

Program locations are finalized in consultation with the Learning Abroad Center. Factors taken into consideration are availability of affiliated partners that can provide strong on-site support, appeal to students, relevance to program topic, safety, and cost.

Program Leader Experience

The Learning Abroad Center facilitates all on-campus and on-site arrangements, including academic and cultural advising for students, financial aid advising, marketing and recruitment, design and production of all printed materials, application and registration processing, pre-departure orientations, flights, room and board; classrooms, other necessary instructional support, and other related activities.

Program leaders are actively involved in the planning and recruitment for their program. Once on site, program leaders attend all course-related activities in addition to teaching their course.

Because program leaders interact with diverse student groups, it is important for instructors to think about how their own background, identities and privileges influence how they interact with and educate students. In addition, program leaders should consider how they plan to encourage program participants to think about their own positionality and identities while learning abroad.

Program leaders are to attend the University-required Health & Safety Leader Training facilitated by GPS Alliance's International Health, Safety, & Compliance office. Additionally, leaders will be invited and encouraged to attend the LAC's Excellence in Leading Learning Abroad Series.

Co-leaders

These seminars are designed for one leader to travel with a group of students and all seminars work with organizations that provide assistance to the leader once the group arrives in the host country.

These programs have small budgets that are strongly affected by the addition of a co-leader. Two leaders or the addition of an assistant will add cost in the following areas: airfare, housing, salary, fringe benefits, food, entrance fees, ground transportation, and international insurance.

Co-leaders or teaching assistants are welcomed if expenses are covered by the co-leader's college, department, unit, or personal means. To lead a program, both leaders must have permission from the departmental chair.

Proposal & Review Process

Deadline: February 1 (winter break and May session)

Learn more about the Proposal & Review Process

Proposal and Review Process

Contact

Lindsey Lahr, Assistant Director, Instructor-led Programs

Amy Garwood-Díaz, Education Abroad Coordinator

Roslyn Englund, Education Abroad Coordinator