First Advisor

Katie Gilbertson


Although participation in university study abroad programs has grown steadily within the United States in recent years, many students are still being left without access to the important intercultural learning that it allows. Adult learners, students over the age of 25 who often have family and work responsibilities outside of the academic setting, are frequently included in this underrepresented demographic. In order to create a more accessible program for these students, the Intercultural Communication in Florida: The Immigrant Story (ICC in Florida) program uses the same learning paradigm as short-term study abroad but combines it with lessons learned through newer study away (domestic study abroad) programs and adult learning theory.

Designed for SIT Graduate Institute, a small graduate school in southern Vermont, ICC in Florida combines on-campus study and a nine-day travel program in two regions of Florida. Although created for graduate level study, the program can easily be replicated in an undergraduate setting. The travel program will allow students to study Intercultural Communication through hands-on, experiential activities that center on modern immigration in the United States. This includes participating in service learning at an immigrant community center, Hope CommUnity Center, in the Apopka area and exploring urban immigration in Miami. Homestay accommodation will also be used for part of the program, allowing students to immerse themselves in the life of an immigrant family. The price ($1300 plus $300 in travel costs) remains an affordable alternative to other short-term travel courses currently offered at the school. ICC in Florida will not only offer adult learners of all ages two academic credits, but also an immersive, intercultural experience that is often not accessible to students that don’t fit the mold of a “traditional” college student.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Community College Leadership | Curriculum and Instruction | Higher Education | International and Comparative Education


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