Learning Goals

We expect study abroad to encourage global and civic engagement. That is, we expect that global engagement, in their immersion in another culture, will lead students to reflect critically on the world and on themselves as global citizens, that they will become participants of different communities and institutional settings, integrating themselves into these different spaces, and that they will gain in self-awareness and understanding of their own culture as well as that of another; that the academic enrichment of a new curriculum will extend, complement and enrich their Haverford studies; and that in the personal growth they experience, study abroad will develop a confidence and self-reliance that will measurably influence and abet the success of their later pursuits, both at home and abroad. Our goals are thus both cognitive, affective and behavioral: cognitive in that we expect students to learn about another culture in depth; affective in that we want them to be morally invested in global issues and the larger world; behavioral in that we want to see them continue this experience in post-graduate study and careers.

Global Engagement

We expect that study abroad will facilitate students’ intellectual growth by exposing them to knowledge, concepts, and/or experiences that reflect a different cultural frame of reference, and stimulate students’ interest in cross-cultural, international, and comparative learning. These goals demonstrate the investment of the study abroad experience in the expressed goal of the Haverford Educational Goals and Aspirations (2010) of “Translation and Interpretation”, asking that “[s]tudents engage in acts of translation, interpretation, and cultural inquiry in every area of their studies. Such practices develop models of reading and analysis that illuminate students’ scholarship and judgments across disciplines and contexts.” Students abroad necessarily engage in acts of translation and interpretation, from one culture to another, and develop an active and practical critical perspective both of their home and host countries. They gain “intercultural competence” or “cross-cultural competence”, the ability to understand and effectively interact with people across cultures.

Academic and Intellectual Enrichment

We expect study abroad to expand, complement and enrich a Haverford education in the opportunity to take academic courses and pursue programs not available at Haverford; that is, we expect that study abroad will expand their study with other courses in their major or minor field of study, complements their accrued courses with others not available to them at Haverford, and thereby enriches their Haverford degree. We expect them to engage in research in a different academic environment, should that be a possibility, or in research that will be instrumental to the senior capstone project undertaken in the student’s senior year; and to acquire proficiency in another language, if language acquisition is primary to their study abroad. All of these contribute, again, to the expressed goal in the Educational Goals and Aspirations (2010) identified as “Mastery and Critique” in disciplinary knowledge or “active participation in the construction of scholarship.” That is, study abroad requires students to master not only course content, but cultural context, and to acquire a critical perspective not only upon the subject matter but upon the different pedagogical approaches, disciplinary perspectives and academic goals that they encounter abroad.

Personal Growth and Development

Study abroad should encourage students’ personal growth and maturity by increasing self-awareness, understanding, confidence and self-reliance during the study abroad experience in such a way that it continues into their later experience, both as a student at Haverford and post-graduation. This demonstrates, in particular, the expectations of a Haverford education grounded in the Quaker tradition; that is, that it will have material consequences both to their further education at Haverford and to the world they enter upon graduation; that it will be, as Isaac Walton proposed, "not more learning, but better learning" or a sharpened and clarified intellectual competence.

Goals & Objectives

  • Global Engagement
    1. We expect that through immersion in another culture students will reflect critically on the world and on themselves as global citizens, and that study abroad will:
      • facilitate students’ intellectual growth by exposing them to knowledge, concepts, and/or experiences that reflect a different cultural frame of reference, and stimulate students’ interest in cross-cultural, international, and comparative learning;
      • develop “cross-cultural skills”, that is, intercultural competence or cross-cultural competence in students’ ability to understand culturally different others in various situations, such as academic settings and social venues, so that they become aware of cultural differences, reflect upon them, and can live comfortably in diverse environments. This also includes students’ awareness of their own cultural work view, their attitude towards cultural differences, and growing knowledge of different cultural practices and world views.
      • enable students to identify culturally appropriate behaviors of the host country, and participate in academic and other social settings in a manner that is respectful of those behaviors;
      • enable students as well to learn about the sociopolitical and cultural perspectives of the host country, and engage with these thoughtfully and constructively.
    2. Students will contribute to the internationalization and increasing global perspective of Haverford College by:
      • informing the classroom and the broader campus with new cultural perspectives, contributing both in class and bringing their experience to bear on the collective college community;
      • increasing the numbers of study abroad students who pursue internships that engage global perspectives, creating student-led seminars that are related to their field of study abroad, and who will attend lectures by visiting cultural figures and social activists, etc.
      • actively participating in departmental events as these occur relative to campus visits from speakers from abroad (especially those in the language of that country);
      • willingly acting as TAs in language courses where appropriate.
      • actively managing student-led activities such as language tables in the dining rooms, round tables, and poster sessions;
      • running the various language clubs which arrange cultural activities (such as visits to museums, local theatrical performance, local ethnic restaurants);
      • sharing study abroad experience through digital storytelling; articles written for the Bi-Co news, and for Abroad View magazine; talking to other interested students about the study abroad experience;
      • volunteering for Study Abroad activities related to the host country: sharing information (including lists of resources) about the host country and city where they stayed, and possibly acting as liaisons with people they met in their host country.
  • Academic and Intellectual Enrichment
    1. We expect study abroad to expand, complement and enrich an undergraduate education, which can include:
      • the opportunity to take academic courses and pursue programs not available at Haverford, thereby gaining a new perspective on their academic work at Haverford, and especially their college major;
      • engaging in research for an academic project undertaken in a different academic environment or context, or
      • engaging in research abroad specifically for the senior thesis to be undertaken upon returning to Haverford; or
      • drawing upon their academic experience abroad in formulating and shaping the senior thesis or capstone project;
      • increased confidence in exploring postgraduate academic scholarships and academic programs in international and global issues, and in pursuing post-graduation careers abroad.
    2. Study abroad programs should complement departmental programs in language through a demonstrated improvement of language skills/language proficiency*. Students will be able to interact effectively with speakers of the host country and can:
      • express themselves ably (both orally and in writing) on topics pertaining to every-day life (i.e., primary discourses);
      • express themselves with relative ease (both orally and in writing) on academic topics they have studied and researched;
      • read fluently and accurately most styles and forms of the language pertinent to personal, social and certain academic discourses;
      • understand accurately most styles and forms of the language pertinent to personal, social, and certain academic discourses;
      • meet departmental goals and expectations.

    * Relative to the proficiency with which the student undertakes study abroad.

  • Personal Growth and Development

    Study abroad should encourage students’ personal growth and maturity by:

    • enhancing students’ self-awareness and understanding of their own culture by providing opportunities to compare and contrast host country customs, values, and traditions with their own;
    • facilitating the development of confidence and self-reliance, having gained experience in negotiating the common personal experience of immersion in a new culture—initial euphoria, occasional irritability and hostility, gradual adjustment and adaptation.
    • developing practical “cross cultural” skills: learning about a new environment; finding reasons for why things are as they are; looking for patterns and relationships; increased patience and tolerance; learning that they have the ability to fail and recover from that failure; to learn not to judge, but to ask why.
    • stimulating a desire for further exploration of new horizons, both local and global.

Prepared by the members of the International Academic Programs Faculty Advisory Board: Karin Akerfeldt, Linda Gerstein, Yoko Koike, Ana Lopez-Sanchez, Deborah Sherman, and Donna Mancini (Chair)