Elon University is pleased to announce the 2015-2017 Center for Engaged Learning (CEL) Research Seminar on Integrating Global Learning with the University Experience: Higher-Impact Study Abroad and Off-Campus Domestic Study. This three-summer research seminar facilitates multi-institutional research on study abroad and off-campus domestic study as integrated global learning practices. We invite interested scholars and practitioners, regardless of discipline, to apply to join a multi-institutional cohort of researchers collaborating to investigate evidence-based, high-quality study abroad and off-campus domestic study.

The 2015-2017 CEL Research Seminar builds on existing knowledge of implementation of study abroad and off-campus domestic study to maximize their potential as high-impact global learning experiences. Global learning has been defined in multiple ways, ranging from student experiences off campus to internationalization efforts that occur within the university walls. For this research seminar, “study abroad” refers to university-sponsored learning experiences that cross international lines and “off-campus domestic study” refers to university-sponsored learning experiences that occur off-campus, but within the same country.

Download a Printer-Friendly Version of the Call | Download an Application Form

Assessing Learning Abroad and Off-Campus Domestic Study: A Brief Overview

Hundreds of thousands of students study abroad and in off-campus domestic study for academic credit each year, and many universities identify these experiences as high-impact practices that augment on-campus global learning. Although a solid body of research has investigated the interactions of the pre-, during-, and post- attributes of the campus experience with off-campus study (Vande Berg, Connor-Linton & Paige, 2009; Vande Berg, Paige & Lou, 2012; Engberg, 2013), questions remain about the larger picture of off-campus study and its integration with college education as a whole. As Salisbury notes (2011, 2013) scholars have examined individual study abroad experiences, looking at learning outcomes such as the development of intercultural competence measured at the start and end of a study abroad course. However, as other researchers note (Haywood & Charette, 2012; Hoff & Paige, 2008; Deardorff, 2014), developing competence is an iterative process, necessitating more complex methods to complement pre- and post-experience inventories. Scholars also don’t agree on the expected outcomes – personal growth, intercultural competence, language proficiency, intellectual understanding of difference, and so forth – of study abroad and off-campus domestic study, further complicating research on these practices.

Global learning through study abroad and off-campus domestic study fits into a larger context of students’ educational experiences (CIEE, 2006), but less is known about how global experiences affect and are affected by the students and educators who participate and by the curricula and other institutional factors related to these experiences. Global experiences can be intentionally woven through the curriculum (Vande Berg et. al, 2012), and as Brewer (2009) suggests, integrating global experiences at all levels across the university is vital. Doing so can transform students, educators, and ultimately institutions. In turn, scholarship that conceptualizes study abroad and off-campus domestic study as global learning practices integrated into the rest of a university education can lead to higher-impact study abroad and off-campus domestic study.

Recognizing that institutions diverge in their approaches to study abroad and off-campus domestic study, the CEL Research Seminar fosters multi-institutional collaborations to facilitate research across institutions and approaches. The seminar will support rigorous multi-institutional, multi-method investigations with the goal of enhancing educational design for enhanced student-learning and development.

Research questions will follow four strands centered on student, educator, curricular, and institutional factors, and these strands may include the kinds of questions bulleted below:

1)  Students’ integration of study abroad and off-campus domestic study with other university global learning experiences

  • How do students’ prior experiences (e.g., engagement with difference, personality factors, language proficiency, previous coursework) affect learning in study abroad and off-campus domestic study experiences?
  • How do students integrate global learning knowledge, skills, and attitudes/dispositions/habits of mind through study abroad and off-campus domestic study with other educational experiences?
  • Are the effects of study abroad and off-campus domestic study cumulative when students have more than one experience?

2)  Educators’ roles in students’ study abroad and off-campus domestic study

  • How does an educator’s background (e.g., level of intercultural competence, level of expertise, field of study, engagement with culture) affect students’ advancement of intercultural competence and/or global learning through study abroad and off-campus domestic study?
  • What teaching practices prior to, during, and after study abroad and off-campus domestic study experiences positively influence students’ global learning?
  • What educator professional development prior to or during study abroad and off-campus domestic study experiences positively influences students’ global learning?

3)  Curricular and programmatic factors that integrate study abroad and off-campus domestic study with students’ other global learning experiences

  • How and why do certain practices in study abroad and off-campus domestic study (e.g., pre- and post-experience courses, intercultural competency courses, analytical reflections, ethnographic exercises of place and space) help students integrate and intentionally develop their global learning?
  • Does integrating students’ study abroad and off-campus domestic study experiences into their major, discipline, and/or professional studies lead to increased global learning competencies?
  • How do particular programmatic factors (e.g., long term vs. short term, study abroad vs. off-campus domestic study, individual vs. group program, homestay vs. group living, applied vs. academic focus) affect students’ global learning?

4)  Institutional factors that integrate student learning from study abroad and off-campus domestic study

  • How do educators best integrate and infuse study abroad and off-campus domestic study throughout an institution with the goal of promoting students’ global learning?
  • How is the curricular integration and promotion of study abroad and off-campus domestic study shaped by an institution’s definition of global learning?
  • How do study abroad and off-campus domestic study experiences intersect with and inform other high-impact practices (e.g., internships, undergraduate research, living learning communities) at an institution, and do those intersections lead to enhanced global learning?
  • How do study abroad and off-campus domestic study global learning outcomes influence larger institutional general education outcomes, and vice versa?

Research Cohorts and Seminar Logistics

The Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminar will support multi-institutional research addressing and surrounding this theme over a two-year period, with three one-week summer meetings on the Elon University campus.

  • June 14-19, 2015:  Participants will meet on Elon’s campus to collaboratively develop and plan multi-institutional research projects to be conducted throughout the following year at the participants’ own institutions. Participants’ research will build on existing literature, and multi-institutional research teams will develop both inquiry questions and interventions to use in formative and summative evaluation.
  • June 12-17, 2016Participants will meet to share their initial multi-institutional results and to plan a more sharply focused research agenda for the research cohort for year two, using data gathered the first year to help develop that agenda. These multi-institutional collaborations will enable larger scale studies and explorations of the impact of different institutional contexts.
  • June 11-16, 2017: Participants will reconvene to share their year two results, to plan continuations of their work, and/or to host a conference on the seminar theme.

Elon University will provide lodging and meals for seminar participants during the seminar’s 2015-2017 summer meetings. In addition, each participant will be reimbursed up to $500/year (up to $1000/year for international participants) for travel costs (e.g., airplane tickets, mileage, airport parking, meals in transit) incurred while traveling to the seminar’s summer meetings at Elon University. Full reimbursement policies will be distributed to accepted participants. Other participant expenses, including travel costs above the limit and any research costs, will be paid by the participants and/or their home institutions.

Participants will produce significant, concrete outcomes. Past Center for Engaged Learning research seminars have generated edited volumes, journal articles and book chapters, white papers, and conference presentations – as well as local initiatives on participants’ home campuses. Participants will be well-positioned to use evidence-based assessments of student learning conducted as part of the seminar to inform study abroad and off-campus domestic study practices at their institutions.

How to Apply

The review committee will select participants from a range of institution types (e.g., research-intensive universities, liberal arts colleges, teaching institutions, etc.), geographic locations, and program models for study abroad and off-campus domestic study to ensure a variety of approaches are included in the seminar’s multi-institutional studies.

To apply, submit a completed application and abbreviated curriculum vita (CV, 4 pages maximum) by 12:00 noon EST on November 7, 2014 (extended deadline). The application (CELseminar-application-form-globallearning) asks for the following information:

  • Which research question above are you most interested in examining, and why?
  • How does this question fit with your existing scholarly work?
  • What is the larger institutional context for this research question at your campus? How are study abroad and off-campus domestic study operated?
  • Why is this research question appropriate for multi-institutional investigation?
  • What research methods do you anticipate employing to study this theme? Do you have experience using these methods?
  • Are there unique demographic/background variables at your institution that are relevant to your research question?
  • What kinds of expertise do you bring to the investigation of study abroad and off-campus domestic study?

More than one person per institution may apply. Although CEL Research Seminar projects will be multi-institutional, applicants do not need to form these teams before they apply; CEL Research Seminar leaders will create initial teams based on applicants’ information.

After the November 7th deadline, a review committee, including the seminar leaders, will review applications, make selections, and notify all applicants by December 5, 2014. Questions about the application and selection process should be directed to Nina Namaste and Amanda Sturgill at GlobalLearning@elon.edu.


  • Brewer, Elizabeth, & Cunningham, Kiran (Eds.). (2009). Integrating study abroad into the curriculum. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
  • Braskamp, Larry A., & Engberg, Mark E. (Summer/Fall 2011). How colleges can influence the development of a global perspective. Liberal Education 97 (3-4)34-39.
  • CIEE. (2006). Our view: A research agenda for study abroad.  Retrieved from http://www.ciee.org/images/uploaded/pdf/A%20Research%20Agenda%20for%20Study%20Abroad.pdf
  • Deardorff, Darla. (15 May 2014). Some thoughts on assessing intercultural competence (ViewPoint). National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. Retrieved fromhttp://illinois.edu/blog/view/915/113048
  • Engberg, Mark E. (2013). The influence of study away experiences on global perspective-taking. Journal of College Student Development, 54 (5), 466-480.
  • Hayward, Lorna, & Charrette, Ann. (2012). Integrating cultural competence and core values: An international service-learning model. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 26 (1), 78-89.
  • Hoff, Joseph, & Paige, Michael. (2008). A strategies-based approach to culture and language learning in education abroad programming. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad17, 89-106.
  • Hovland, Kevin. (2014). Global learning: Defining, designing, demonstrating.  NAFSA/AAC&U.  Retrieved from http://www.aacu.org/globallearning
  • Salisbury, Mark H. (2011). The effect of study abroad on intercultural competence among undergraduate college students (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Iowa, Iowa. Retrieved from http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/1073
  • Salisbury, Mark, et al. (2013). The effect of study abroad on intercultural competence among undergraduate college students. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 50 (1), 1-20.
  • Sobania, Neal and Braskamp, Larry. (2009) Study abroad or study away: It’s not merely semantics. Peer Review, 11(4), 23. Retrieved from http://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/study-abroad-or-study-away-its-not-merely-semantics
  • Vande Berg, Michael., Connor-Linton, Jeff & Paige, R. Michael. (2009). The Georgetown Consortium Project: Interventions for students learning abroad. Frontiers: The Intercultural Journal of Study Abroad, 18, 1-75
  • Vande Berg, Michael, et al. (2012). Student learning abroad: What our students are learning, what they’re not, and what we can do about it. Sterling, VA: Stylus.