Mapping Study Abroad to the Major
“Mapping Study Abroad to the Major” or Study Abroad Curriculum Integration is a collaborative initiative between KU’s academic departments and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) to fully integrate study abroad programs (to include international study, internship, research or service-learning) into the college experience and academic curricula for students in all degree programs. The end goal is to make study abroad accessible to a greater percentage of the institution’s undergraduate students while still keeping them on track towards a timely graduation.
Study Abroad Curriculum Integration (CI) seeks to address obstacles to student participation (principally academic fit, faculty engagement, and finances) by tailoring international education experiences to meet the academic requirements and learning outcomes of each department. Specifically, CI aims to:
- Encourage and empower faculty and advisors to be partners in the development, support, and promotion of international programming;
- Maximize study abroad opportunities for students by leveraging departmental and institutional relationships and by expanding the terms of current collaborative agreements with KU partner institutions abroad;
- Enhance student learning through greater academic cohesion between international study and KU coursework in the major;
- Increase scholarship support to make study abroad financially feasible for all students;
- Enable students to start planning during their freshman year (or even before arriving at KU!) for a full semester abroad.
Strategic Plan for Curriculum Integration at KU
Last year, the University of Kansas expanded the role and prominence of Study Abroad by placing it squarely within the new KU Core Curriculum. Advanced Education Goal 4.2 seeks to ensure students gain “cultural understanding and global awareness” through their foundational KU education. Students will be able to meet this educational goal through a significant study abroad experience, defined as an experience of a semester or year duration or a short-term program achieving UCCC approval.
Concurrent with the KU strategic planning process, the Office of Study Abroad launched a comprehensive Curriculum Integration initiative by targeting roughly 20 academic units for CI engagement during the 2014-15 academic year.