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Guidelines for Developing a XULA Faculty-led International Program

Faculty-led international programs are an amazing opportunity to engage your students in relevant international topics and prepare them for success in an intercultural and international society.

Xavier faculty are encouraged to develop academic programs that will enhance our students' international perspective, intercultural communication and interaction skills, and sense of adaptability to new environments.

The two most common approaches are:

1.  Embedded Programs
Plan to take 2-3 weeks before classes start, during a semester break, or at the end of a semester. Take students on-site to another country to expose students to the academic topic they are studying in class.  This means that only students registered for a specific course being taught on campus will participate in the brief international experience accompanied by you, the professor.  

An embedded program has several advantages:  a) students using federal financial aid may be eligible for travel expenses through financial aid, and b) sometimes students reluctant to travel abroad on their own will feel more confident to go abroad when accompanied by his/her professor.

The disadvantage of an embedded program is that only students registered for your full semester course on campus can participate (thus drawing from a more limited pool of students), and most obviously, such a brief international experience has the potential of reinforcing negative stereotypes when a student does not have time to sufficiently immerse themselves in another country/culture.

2.  Short-Term programs
Short-Term faculty-led programs are typically two to six weeks and focus on integrating on-site international resources into a course that you might otherwise teach on campus.  For example, instead of students sitting in a classroom in New Orleans looking at a slideshow of famous artwork, an Art Appreciation course might be taught in Paris or Madrid or elsewhere and the professor would integrate visits to museums into classroom lectures taught while abroad.  This model of integrating experiential learning with our traditional pedagogy on campus can be adapted for almost any academic discipline.

Although any faculty-led program requires a team of relevant experts on campus to serve as resources, there is a tremendous amount of responsibilities for the faculty director.  However, the rewards are simply phenomenal when you realize that an international experience will transform your students' lives and open new doors that they never even imagined.

We encourage you to work closely with the Director of Intercultural and International Programs Office to develop an outstanding international program.  Make an appointment with 
 to discuss the planning, approval and implementation process.

CLICK HERE for Program Proposal Template


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Xavier University of Louisiana Center for Intercultural and International Programs