I have been teaching international academic service learning courses since 1997 at the University of Michigan-Flint. Teaching a global studies course and going to the “other land” confronts different realities. In response to our diverse changing world, it is imperative faculty respond to the need for students to have global and cultural experiences.
While it is a challenging teaching endeavor, there are many benefits for students and faculty:
Provides for student opportunity to gain cultural understanding and competence
Expands communication, inspires students to become self-thinkers, and to develop critical thinking skills
Personal and professional growth
Engagement in global social issues
Allows students to broaden themselves to live and contribute to a global society
There are voluminous benefits for faculty to travel with students and teach a study abroad course. You will learn many things about yourself, gain confidence in your teaching and enhance and treasure your student relationships. You will create life long memories for yourself and for students.
The study abroad program at the University of Michigan-Flint is supported through an abundance of resources. You will have many colleagues and staff to assist you in developing and implementing your course. I encourage you to step outside the walls of the classroom and “wherever you go, go with all your heart” (Confucius).