Excellence in Leading Learning Abroad Series

Excellence in Leading Learning Abroad Series

Excellence in Leading Learning Abroad Series

The Learning Abroad Center hosts sessions with discussion topics relevant to current and past learning abroad program leaders as well as those interested in leading a program in the future. All sessions are facilitated by current or past program leaders, or campus experts, and will be highly interactive.

Contact Lindsey Lahr, Program Director in the Learning Abroad Center, for any questions.

Academic Year 2018-2019 Series 

Weisman Museum Excursion

Tuesday, October 23, 2019
2–3 p.m.
Weisman Art Museum
UMN East Bank

This session will be a guided excursion meant to simulate an excursion abroad with your students and will be a great opportunity to reflect on the art of briefing and debriefing site visits.

Nannette Hanks is Assistant Dean in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. Nanette has led four Global Seminars to Spain to hike the Camino de Santiago. She has also served as a docent and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Inclusion & Student Dynamics

Monday, November 12, 2018
12-2 p.m.
110 Heller Hall

This session will explore topics of inclusions and diversity in regards to student dynamics and student behavior on instructor-led programs. Learn tools and be part of the discussion on how to foster inclusive groups and facilitate critical conversations. The session will be co-led by colleagues from the Office of Equity & Diversity and experienced program leaders.

Stef Jarvi is the Director of Education in the Office of Equity & Diversity

Virajita Singh is the Assistant Vice Provost in the Office of Equity & Diversity

Bee Vang Moua is the Director of Hmong Language Program at the University of Minnesota who is also a part of the Hmong Women Leadership cohorts in the Twin Cities. Bee led the Summer 2018 Hmong Language Immersion & Culture in China and will lead the same course to Thailand Summer 2019.

Martha Johnson is the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad 

Lauren Dickinson is an Associate Program Director for the Carlson Global Institute

Short-term Program, Long-term Impact: Career Integration In Instructor-led Programs

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
110 Heller Hall

How do we make short-term programs relevant to students' career and life goals?  What skills are particularly enhanced through focused learning experiences abroad and cohort dynamics?  We will present models for integrations career reflection and fostering articulation of experiences into syllabi, assessment, and program design, and help instructors consider ways to make the connections between program abroad and career more intentional.

Martha Johnson is the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota and oversees one of the largest education abroad offices in the US, sending over 3500 students abroad annually. She has worked in international education since 1991 for organizations and institutions in the US, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Her experience includes on-site program management, program development and marketing, management of a large university education abroad office, and teaching of short-term programs.

Lisa Novack is the Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Business Career Center at the Carlson School of Management. Lisa has led volunteer & leadership programs to Costa Rica and Panama, as well served as a site coordinator on a Carlson instructor-led program. Lisa intentionally builds in career reflection curriculum to all of her courses.

Research & Instructor-led programs

Friday, February 8, 2019
1-3 p.m.
110 Heller Hall

One might assume that it is not possible to include research as part of the curriculum of a short-term program. Experienced program leaders have proven this a fallacy. This session will teach how to incorporate research in short-term programs from it being on component of the pedagogy to the focal point of the assessment.

Evan Roberts is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Population Studies, and is affiliated with the Minnesota Population Center. His research focuses on long-term change in health and employment, in which he has ongoing research projects in the United States and New Zealand. Evan has led both a Freshman Seminar Abroad and multiple Global Seminars to New Zealand that focus on New Zealand culture and society.

Dawn Tanner is a Teaching Specialist at CFANS Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. She has a research focus on conservation of tropical forest environments, especially focused on charismatic species and the use of remote cameras for wildlife monitoring and education. Dawn teaches a Global Seminar to Borneo every other May term.

A Room of One's Own: Finding Balance as a Program Leader

Friday, March 1, 2019
12-2 p.m.
289 Humphrey

How well we are able to take care of ourselves directly reflects on how we take care of our students. This session will focus on how to balance the multiple roles of a program leader while still finding time to recharge and take care of your own needs during what can be a physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting journey. This workshop will provide resources and tools for self-care and well-being.

Aaron Asmundson is Assistant Director of Leadership Education and Development–Undergraduate Programs at the University of Minnesota. He has led several Global Seminars to South Africa, as well as programs to Malawi and Thailand. Aaron is also a certified yoga instructor.

Describe, Interpret, Evaluate: Using your program location as your classroom

Friday, April 12, 2019
10 a.m.–12 p.m.
214 Heller Hall 

This session will provide resources on how to utilize the Describe-Interpret-Evaluate method with your students to aid them in their intercultural competency as well as their understanding of place. Additionally, activities on how to utilize the city or program location as your classroom will be shared as a best practice.

Steve Spruth is a Professor in Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship in the Carlson School of Management and has led multiple learning abroad programs to Brazil, China, and Cuba.

Past ELLAS Sessions

Please review the videos and resources from past ELLAS sessions.

Diversity & Intercultural Learning Abroad 

Intercultural learning can widen students' worldview, deepen their understanding of academic topics taught abroad, and help with student dynamic. Understanding diversity dynamics present within a group, as well as related to the local context, provides another layer of complexity to leading learning abroad programs. Having the awareness and resources to navigate these competencies are critical to successful instructor-lead programs. Learn techniques to weave intercultural and diversity learning into your program during pre-departure, while abroad, and in preparation for re-entry. These pedagogical approaches will also help you smoothly facilitate experiential learning while teaching overseas.

Shakeer Abdullah is Assistant Vice President for the Office for Equity and Diversity
Daheia Barr-Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology (CEHD) and will lead her second LAC Seminar to Kenya summer 2018.
Christine Anderson is Assistant Director of Curriculum and Program Development at the Learning Abroad Center.
Thuy Doan is Associate Advising Director at the Learning Abroad Center

Managing Group Dynamics & Student Behavior

Group dynamics and student behavior in a short-term learning abroad program can make or break the experience for the program leader, the host culture, and the student cohort. Learn about strategies that have been employed to minimize the negative effects that can arise when a group of students is placed in a new peer cohort and must navigate a different cultural context.

Workshop Presentation

June Nobbe is Director of Leadership Education and Development–Undergraduate Programs and Coordinator and Instructor for the Undergraduate Leadership Minor. She has led multple Global Seminars to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Turkey, Argentina, and Panama. June has developed cultural engagement curriculum for Learning Abroad Center programs in Rome, Florence, Montpellier, and Istanbul.

Melissa Palmer is an Assistant Professor of Animal Physiology in the Department of Animal Science, and the Director of the Marine Biology Minor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. She teaches Human and Animal Physiology courses and has led a program to Belize on Wildlife Medicine and Conservation for many years. Melissa is co-leading a program on Animal Welfare & Marine Ecosystems in Thailand Summer 2019.

Describe, Interpret, Evaluate: Using your program location as your classroom

This session will provide resources on how to utilize the Describe-Interpret-Evaluate method with your students to aid them in their intercultural competency as well as their understanding of place. Additionally, activities on how to utilize the city or program location as your classroom will be shared as a best practice.

Workshop Presentation

Steve Spruth is a Professor in Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship in the Carlson School of Management and has led multiple learning abroad programs to Brazil, China, and Cuba.

Creating a Learning Abroad Syllabus

Syllabus creation can be a daunting task. What is the correct balance of content, assignments, assessment, and reflection? Adding a component abroad can increase the complexity—sequencing, itinerary, classroom time vs. excursions, cultural differences, free time, and so on. Learn tips and best practices to navigate this seemingly enigmatic process. Veteran leaders will discuss the strategies they use to build their syllabi—both for entirely abroad and embedded courses.

Laura Coffin-Koch is the Director of International Initiatives for the College of Education & Human Development and Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics. Professor Koch has been faculty at the University of Minnesota since 1985 and has taught study abroad courses for over 10 years, in Florence & Rome, Italy, and in Istanbul, Turkey. She has led both Global Seminars and Freshman Seminars Abroad.

Monica Fogg is an artist and designer and has taught courses in watercolor, drawing, painting, color theory, design, visual presentation, and art history. She is an instructor in the College of Design and has led many Freshman Seminars Abroad to Japan and France and Global Seminars to Japan and Greece.

Intercultural & Experiential Learning, Journaling, Reflection

Intercultural learning can widen students' worldview, deepen their understanding of academic topics taught abroad, and help with student dynamic. Learn techniques to weave intercultural learning into your program during pre-departure, while abroad, and in preparation for re-entry. These pedagogical approaches will also help you smoothly facilitate experiential learning while teaching overseas.

Mike White is the Department Head of Animal Science. He has taught over 10 Global Seminars based in Florence, Rome, and Sicily. He has been engaged in research on intercultural development during short-term study abroad through the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences and the Learning Abroad Center for the past 10 years.

Nikki Letawsky Shultz, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and International Programs. Nikki has led her Innovation & Imagination in Ireland Freshman Seminars Abroad multiple times.

Christine L. Anderson is Assistant Director of Curriculum and Program Development at the Learning Abroad Center. She has worked with instructor-led programs for 15 years.

A Room of One's Own: Finding Balance as a Program Leader

How well we are able to take care of ourselves directly reflects on how we take care of our students. This session will focus on how to balance the multiple roles of a program leader while still finding time to recharge and take care of your own needs during what can be a physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting journey.

Aaron Asmundson is Assistant Director of Leadership Education and Development–Undergraduate Programs at the University of Minnesota. He has led several undergraduate programs to South Africa, as well as programs to Malawi and Thailand.

Introduction to Teaching Abroad

This session is geared toward instructors interested in developing a program abroad. You will gain an overview of the process and participate in activities designed to help you begin envisioning your program. Program models, best practices, and tips for developing a strong proposal will also be shared. Facilitated by Learning Abroad Center staff.

Facilitated by Learning Abroad Center Staff

First-Generation, Low-Income Students & Learning Abroad

Session Powerpoint Presentation

There has been increased discussion around the significance of providing meaningful learning abroad experiences to students of color; however little is known about the complexities of learning abroad for low-income (LI) and first-generation (FG) college students. TRiO Student Support Services at the University of Minnesota (CEHD) works specifically with this population of students. In our experience as TRiO professionals, barriers to learning abroad are strongly correlated to economic status and citizenship status where financial and academic capital is often limited. This session focuses on common issues encountered when assisting LI/FG students with learning abroad opportunities.

Nate Whittaker is an Associate Academic Adviser in TRiO Student Support Services in the College of Education and Human Development. He has led many learning abroad programs to South Africa.

Short-term Program, Long-term Impact:  Career Integration In Instructor-led Programs

On-Site Career Exercise

How do we make short-term programs relevant to students' career and life goals?  What skills are particularly enhanced through focused learning experiences abroad and cohort dynamics?  We will present models for integrations career reflection and fostering articulation of experiences into syllabi, assessment, and program design, and help instructors consider ways to make the connections between program abroad and career more intentional.

Martha Johnson is the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota and oversees one of the largest education abroad offices in the US, sending over 3500 students abroad annually. 

Maria Wentworth is the Senior Marketing Specialist at the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center. She focuses much of her efforts on encouraging a  strategic connection between learning abroad and career development, by utilizing career-minded language and strategies while marketing international programs.

Incorporating Language Learning into Short-Term Programs

Short-term programs move at a fast clip. Though important for communication and engaging with the host culture, there is not always much time to focus on learning the local language. Learn practical tips for weaving language learning into your program, hear insights on the value of host-country language knowledge, and ways to incorporate it when it is not the sole focus of your program.

Kathleen Rider teaches Italian language and culture in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Minnesota and has done extensive research on Italian history, culture and urban theory. Kathy has led multiple Global Seminars to Rome & Southern Italy.

Gerald Fry is a Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development in the College of Education and Human Development and a world-renowned interculturalist. He has taught several interdisciplinary programs in Thailand and Laos focusing on culture and language.

Marketing Your Learning Abroad Program

Marketing is an essential first step for planning a program. From program titles to classroom visits to social media, marketing can make or break a study abroad program. Veteran leaders will discuss their past marketing efforts—both what worked and what didn't.

Dennis Behl, Publicity and Institutional Relations Communication Consultant, Theatre Arts and Dance, College of Liberal Arts. Dennis has served a number of arts organizations including the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Opera, and the Weisman Art Museum. Dennis led a Freshman Seminar Abroad to London.

Adam Pagel, International Programs Director, College of Science and Engineering.

Tiffany Richardson, Lecturer, Sport Management, School of Kinesiology.