Innovations in Study Abroad: New Models & Programs
CU Denver | CU Anschutz Students: Within Your ReachSep 2, 2022
Globalization has dramatically altered the workplace. Today’s employers seek job candidates with the technical knowledge and "soft skills" – problem solving, time management, cross-cultural competence – needed to succeed in current and future business environments. Responses from 13,000 hiring managers and CEOs in the 2020 QS Global employer survey revealed that more than 25% said “international experience” was a job recruitment priority.
Today’s students describe their study abroad experiences as life-changing and affirming. The experiences markedly improve students’ critical thinking and organizational skills, increase their understanding of other cultures and societies, and bring an expanded awareness of their roles as global citizens. When graduates are job hunting, a study abroad experience is also a definite “plus” on a resume. In a survey conducted by IES Abroad, 67% of study abroad alumni landed their first job within just six months of graduation.
“Gaining a global perspective is indispensable; the experience will teach you much more than only being a bystander in a classroom,” said Marcia, a CU Denver study abroad program alumna.
The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus brings meaningful and vital study abroad experiences within reach for every student. Financial aid can be used for studying abroad as well. Many students who return from studying abroad have a renewed determination and the motivation to achieve higher grades and graduate on time. They also return with more confidence to step into today’s global workplace.
The Global Education: Study Abroad office and faculty keep a strong focus on making these program offerings a real possibility for the university's diverse student population that includes first-generation, veterans, transfers, and students with financial needs. Between July 2021 -- June 2022, the Global Education: Study Abroad team advised, processed documentation, and assisted 377 CU Denver and CU Anschutz students to enroll and engage in study abroad programs and travels. Faculty leaders guided students through the successful completion of their courses.
University World News reports, “As study abroad adjusts to a post-COVID-19 world, we expect the popularity of short-term experiences will continue to increase.” The Global Education: Study Abroad team and faculty at CU Denver and CU Anschutz are already well ahead of this forecast.
From Costa Rica to Ireland to Spain to Singapore, a diversity of study abroad offerings enable students to take a deep dive into international studies, clinical opportunities, research, and transformative experiential learning. Eleven Winterim 2022 and 18 Maymester-Spring and Summer 2023 short-term study abroad programs are gearing up right now. New faculty-led destinations will include Egypt/College of Arts and Media, Mexico/College of Architecture, Bosnia-Croatia/School of Public Affairs, and Nepal/College of Arts and Media. The long-running Semester in Berlin program is still a favorite, and the new ArtsHub Asia semester-long program in Singapore launched this fall.
According to the University World News report, another major implication of the post-pandemic adjustments will be the need to find ways to extend cultural learning pre-departure and post experience. It recommends facilitation through “student reflections and sharing resources.” Here again, the university’s study abroad team has already incorporated these approaches, which have effectively helped hundreds of students plan for purposeful study abroad experiences throughout the years. A “Know Your Host Country” section of the study abroad website is rich with information about the culture, geography, politics, and customs of study destinations. The “Resources For Your Return” section provides tips on how to integrate the knowledge gained from study abroad experiences into a professional resume and interview discussion.
“For me, studying abroad was never in the ‘4-year plan’ to graduate,” said Diana, who studied abroad through CU Denver’s study abroad program in Cuba. “I thought if I did a study abroad, it would delay my expected graduation date. I was happily mistaken! Studying abroad has been an opportunity that made me fall more in love with my major and my career.”
The value of the global study programs at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is recognized by students and parents, as well as by external organizations of significance. One of the newer programs that is launching in 2023, Sanas Por Todos (Health For All), was recently awarded a $35,000 IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) program grant by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Sanas Por Todos is an immersive learning experience for undergraduate students in nursing and public health at the Trifino Clinic in Guatemala. The course will be led by Pamela Prag, CU Nursing Senior Instructor, CNM, MS, MPH and Jennifer Fisher, CU Nursing Assistant Professor of Clinical Teaching, DNP, WHNP. Global educational opportunities build a nursing and public healthcare workforce prepared to understand the unique perspectives of, and provide competent care for, diverse populations and global communities.
Advice and guidance, and a modest pool of funds are available for CU Denver | CU Anschutz faculty who are interested in developing a study abroad program. The university’s Global Education Advisory Committee (GEAC) committee collaborates with the office of Global Education: Study Abroad to support and foster high-impact practices generated through global study programs. Together, they review program proposals, provide feedback on policies and community outreach marketing, and promote internationalization of the curriculum.
For students seeking scholarship support for their global studies, a wide range of study abroad scholarship opportunities are available, including merit-based, diversity, and program, subject or destination-specific scholarships. The Office of Global Education: Study Abroad also offers an OGE Passport Scholarship opportunity, with free passports for the first ten students who apply and who have never had a U.S. passport.
As universities throughout the United States emerge from the unique challenges of the last two years, the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is leading the way with innovative new study abroad program models and approaches.
“We’re working with deans, faculty, and university leadership throughout both campuses to provide fascinating, engaging, life-relevant study abroad programs that transform students and make them more globally competitive,” explained Catherine Ebert-Gray, Director of Global Education: Study Abroad, United States Ambassador (Retired). “I invite students and faculty to contact me and the study abroad team to learn more and become part of an exciting study abroad experience.”
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