Semester-long Study Abroad Program at XAIU (Xi'an International University)
2010 Heiskell Award Winner: Study Abroad at the Community College
Nomination submitted by: Li-hua Yu, Professor of Sociology
Using a semester-long study abroad program in China as a catalyst for internationalizing the curriculum at all levels, the College of Lake County is being recognized for its ability to build an internationalization strategy around a successful study abroad program.
In its second year, the semester-long program will become a permanent program sponsored by the Illinois Community College Consortium of International Studies and Programs and has inspired curricular changes throughout the campus. Since its inception, seventeen courses within the existing college curriculum have added East Asian content, and curriculum development mini-grants supported faculty members' development of three new courses: Politics in East Asia, Doing Business in China, and Food Business in China. The semester-long program is also complemented by two short-term summer study abroad programs to China, one focusing on business and culture in China, the other a six-week language immersion experience.
The College of Lake County funded the semester-long program with support from a Title VI grant, pledging $275,000 in matching funds. Understanding the financial challenges of studying abroad, CLC provided $50,000 for scholarships over the past two years, awarding grants to 25 of the 34 eligible students. "We strive to offer study abroad programming that is unique and accessible to community college students," says Jerry Weber, President of Lake County.
This program serves as a model for practitioners seeking to coordinate curricular and study abroad initiatives in an effort to boost campus internationalization.