Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Lynee Connelly


In an increasingly globalized world, study abroad is growing in popularity. As a rising number of students study, work, research or simply move abroad, research by experts and practitioners has been focused on finding ways to maximize learning. An effective and wildly popular strategy adopted by most institutions is pre-departure orientation. However its counterpart, study abroad reentry, while also potentially transformative, isn’t equally widespread.

This paper describes an effort to fill this gap through the creation of a reentry program for Marlboro College, a small, liberal arts college in Marlboro, Vermont. In order to tailor the program to Marlboro students’ specific learning objectives and styles, preliminary research was conducted among students, faculty and staff members. The results highlighted the need for a reflection and discussion-based program offering ample opportunities for students to share their experiences and learn from each other.

Consequently, the semester-long “Back On The Hill” program was created. The experiential learning model was chosen as a foundational framework to guide the design of Back On The Hill as an interdisciplinary, collaborative curriculum based on three main components: reflection on one’s own learning, contextualization of that learning and application of it. To effectively deliver these components, program sessions were chosen to be weekly and centered around activities ranging from open discussions to guest panels, student-led workshops and community-wide events.

To ensure accessibility and feasibility, the program was designed to fit smoothly into Marlboro’s everyday activities. The practicality of the logistics, together with the curriculum chosen, were intentional and aimed at situating this program as a potential model for other small, liberal arts colleges to develop similar efforts towards implementing reentry programs.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | International and Comparative Education


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