Publication Date

5-2010

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Kevin Brennan

Abstract

Communio Abroad is a study abroad program proposal written by the St. Norbert College (SNC) Study Abroad Office (SAO) and intended for the St. Norbert College International Education Committee. The proposal provides a strong argument for and a thorough analysis of Cultural Experiences Abroad’s (CEA) study abroad program at Anglo-American University (AAU) in Prague, Czech Republic.

The proposal is consistent with best practices in the design of a sound study abroad program. To begin, the profiles of SNC, SAO, CEA, and AAU are examined, followed by a clear rationale, goals, and evidence of student need for the program in Prague. The literature review highlights two core benefits of studying abroad: the development of global competencies and an increased awareness of one’s national identity. The analysis of the curriculum identifies how the courses at AAU and extracurricular activities offered by CEA facilitate personal growth and academic development. The descriptions of the marketing strategy and recruitment plan illustrate a creative and dynamic thought process for attracting students to the new program in Prague. The health and safety plan, along with the crisis management plan, show SNC’s and CEA’s commitment to the health, safety, and security of each and every student. The narrative concludes with a financial analysis of comparable study abroad programs in Prague and Europe and an explanation of evaluation procedures. The appendices provide information and resources that supplement the narrative, including a timetable for delivery, promotional materials, visa documents, and a review of credit transfer, among others.

Ultimately, the proposal answers the question: How is Cultural Experiences Abroad’s program at Anglo-American University compatible with the mission and needs of St. Norbert College, the Study Abroad Office, and St. Norbert students? First, elements of the program clearly reflect the mission of SNC. Together, CEA and AAU provide an “educational environment that fosters intellectual, spiritual, and personal development” (St. Norbert College, 2009). By fulfilling academic requirements and being immersed in a Czech university, students will embody the Catholic, liberal arts, and Norbertine traditions found at the heart of St. Norbert College. Moreover, students will reflect upon Norbertine traditions and heritage, “understand a diverse culture,” and “share their intellect with the world community” (St. Norbert College 2010). Second, the needs assessments indicate that St. Norbert students find various aspects of the study abroad program appealing, including the geographic location (Prague), the partner institution (AAU), and student support services provided by CEA.

In the end, Communio Abroad represents the considerable amount of time, thought, and analysis that is necessary for the effective design of a strong study abroad program. The proposal goes beyond simply describing Cultural Experiences Abroad and Anglo-American University. Rather, the proposal explains how four pieces in a puzzle – St. Norbert College, the Study Abroad Office, Cultural Experiences Abroad, and Anglo-American University – fit together.

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | International and Comparative Education

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