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Exploring and Applying Intercultural Competence in Education Abroad: A Developmental, Experiential & Holistic Workshop for UVA Faculty & Staff

Date: Friday October 7, 2011

For additional workshop details, please click here.


Michael Vande Berg, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, Council on International Educational Exchange

Attitudes and beliefs about study abroad are changing rapidly. Until recently, most faculty and staff engaged in organizing and/or teaching in educational experiences abroad assumed that undergraduates normally and naturally learned abroad when left to their own devices, largely through being exposed to the new and different. However, recent research—including the Georgetown Consortium study, which measured student learning and development at 61 programs abroad—and insights from Education, Cultural Anthropology, Communications, Psychology, Developmental Theory, and a number of other disciplines is seriously challenging that assumption. Informed by recent research findings and disciplinary insights, faculty and staff are increasingly asking, “How do I need to intervene for my students to learn effectively while they are abroad?”

This developmental, experiential and holistic workshop is designed to respond to that question through focusing on the meanings and applications of intercultural competence, a concept that lies at the heart of our efforts to improve student learning abroad, and that has evolved significantly during the past century.

By the end of the workshop, participating faculty and staff will:

  • Understand and be able to discuss the evolution of “intercultural competence” over the past hundred years, including assumptions and practices of three different approaches to framing the concept.
  • Be able to discuss key findings from the Georgetown Consortium and other recent research studies that provide evidence in support of the view that if most students are to develop interculturally through studying abroad, educators need to intervene throughout the experience.
  • Understand and be able to begin to apply two developmental learning theories in their teaching and training.
  • Understand and be able to explain the importance of key intercultural and pedagogical concepts, including “developmental, “experiential,” “challenge and support,” and “stretching outside the comfort zone.”
  • Have had a first-hand experience with some of the ways their students learn when they participate in a developmental, experiential and holistic approach to training interculturally.
  • Understand how this training approach helps students achieve UVA’s Education Abroad Learning Outcomes

Dr. Mick Vande Berg is Vice President for Academic Affairs at CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange. He completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has held leadership positions at several institutions that are unusually committed to the international education of their students, including Georgetown University, where he was Director of International Programs; the School for International Training, where he was Dean of Study Abroad; Michigan State University, where he directed the Office of Study Abroad; Kalamazoo College, where he was Director of the International Center, and el Instituto Internacional, in Madrid, where he was Chair of the English Department. He studied abroad in Mexico, lived and worked in Spain and France, and speaks Spanish and French well. He has authored a wide range of publications, including Spanish-to-English translations of two twenty-century classics of Spanish literature, and he is now editing Student Learning Abroad: What They’re Learning, What They’re Not, and What We Can Do About It, which will appear in May 2012. He has been the Principal Investigator of several study abroad research projects, including the Georgetown Consortium Project; frequently consults with faculty and staff about international education topics; and leads intercultural workshops, in the U.S. and abroad. He is a founding Board member of the Forum on Education Abroad and now serves as a senior faculty member of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) in Portland, Oregon.

Sponsored by the International Studies Office, with the help and guidance from the Teaching Resource Center

For additional details, and to Register, please click here.

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