NIRSA, ACUHO-I, ACUI, and NASPA, together with faculty from Miami University (Ohio), other sister associations (ACPA, ASCA, CACUSS, and NODA), and partners in Ireland and the United Kingdom are offering an international study tour focused on student affairs.
This is an educational tour of very distinct regions—Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland—to develop an understanding of the structure and practice of higher education in the region and to gain insight into the issues and strategic directions for higher education and student services/affairs in this historic region.
The ever-increasing internationalization and interconnectedness of our society in the 21st century evidences the importance of preparing college students to enter a global society. As student affairs practitioners, it is critical that we help create “citizens of the world” by employing a global perspective in our work.
The International Student Affairs Study Tour offers attendees an opportunity for participants to gain an understanding of the educational and cultural systems in Europe (specifically Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England) by traveling abroad and experiencing European higher education firsthand.
This study abroad is designed specifically for student affairs practitioners and for graduate students in student affairs preparation programs who wish to gain exposure to different cultures, examine the effects of culture on a country’s system of higher education and student affairs, compare and contrast the issues facing higher education in Europe and their own country, explore the actual and potential effects of international exchanges of students, faculty, and administrators on higher education, and develop a network of professional colleagues outside of your country.
Upon completion of the study abroad, participants should be able to do the following:
- Outcome 1: Identify and describe cultural elements that affect systems of higher education and student affairs in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the broader European higher education area.
Implementation: Through readings, exploration of institutional websites, analysis of government documents, site visits, and dialogue with international colleagues, participants will understand how a society’s culture shapes the higher education system and its support of students.
- Outcome 2: Compare and contrast your country’s student services systems with those in Ireland and the United Kingdom in terms of their histories, values and philosophies, funding sources, organizational structures, student populations, staffing patterns, and current issues.
Implementation: Participants will develop a working knowledge of the Bologna Process, both its strengths and limitations, and then use this framework to make meaning of what we see and hear in our site visits and conversations with European university colleagues and students. This will provide another lens from which to draw comparisons across U.S. and European student services practice in addition to our own perspectives.
- Outcome 3: Articulate and implement a philosophy of student affairs practice that incorporates an international perspective, i.e., evidences international literacy and advances intercultural competence.
Implementation: Through journaling, dialogue with fellow travelers, and exchanges with international colleagues on site, participants will consider how the experiences and understandings of this international study tour affected their philosophy of practice.