2015 Internationalization Symposium

The Einaudi Center, in collaboration with other GEIGE members, organized a one-day internationalization symposium on May 13, 2015 entitled “Integration of international experiences into the curriculum.”

The symposium attracted more than 180 participants from across campus, mainly faculty and staff who are actively involved in international experiences, as well as administrative leaders in departments, colleges, and the university. In addition, three outstanding colleagues from peer universities and experts in the field of international education enriched our thinking and discussions: Lynn C. Anderson, Academic Director, Cultural and Educational Programs Abroad (CEPA) Foundation; Harvey Charles, the Vice Provost for International Initiatives and Director for International Education of the Northern Arizona University; and Hillary Landorf, the Director of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives, Florida International University (FIU).

This symposium focused on internationalizing the curriculum, global learning outcomes and assessment, models and strategies for integrating international experiences, and institutional opportunities and challenges of curriculum integration. Each session featured case studies from Cornell’s colleges, student and faculty panel discussions, and presentations (see case studies). The feedback received from the participants and organizers was overwhelmingly positive. The symposium led to a series of takeaways and next steps:

  • There are many types of “meaningful” international experiences no matter the duration, shape, form, size, or discipline. However, there are indispensable components of “meaningful” international experiences:
    • Clearly defined learning goals and measuring of outcomes that complement the learning outcomes specific to the major or discipline;
    • Mentoring and facilitated reflection before, during, and after an international experience;
    • Integrating language and area studies in pre-departure programs;
    • Deep and meaningful engagement with the local society and culture;
    • Using the data from the experience to continuously refine the student’s goal(s)/outcome(s), activities, and assessments.
  • Integrate “meaningful” international experiences into the curriculum of a degree program deepens learning by providing multiple references to the experience throughout the years of study – both in preparatory and in reflective stages – while adding a [valuable] international dimension to the degree program itself.
  • Explore the introduction of a global/international requirement, such as the breadth requirement in A&S or cultural perspective requirement in ILR;
  • Design intentional curriculum pathways/pipelines in all colleges and for all degree programs that include options for internationalization of the curriculum on campus and study abroad;
  • Develop a set of criteria that determines which international experiences are “meaningful” and create incentive systems for students who participate in these (for example, Cornell credit, financial support through the Global Cornell Initiative);
  • Explore the possibility of offering a global leadership certificate (non-academic) for students. Students are already very much engaged, would like to be even more involved, and would appreciate and be able to take advantage of the opportunity to be recognized for their efforts;
  • Provide first year students with options on how to internationalize their studies; for example, by introducing foundation courses on global and international topics;
  • Offer training opportunities for all faculty and staff interested in developing or implementing international experiences, with a special focus on defining learning outcomes and assess­ment, and critical reflection and cultural mentoring;
  • Expand opportunities and courses for language and area studies in preparation for international experiences;
  • Continue to offer informal forums for faculty to share ideas and learn from each other on specific topics to internationalize the curriculum and to help expand the “learning community” at Cornell;
  • Secure funding and administrative support for developing, implementing, and sustaining faculty-led international experiences;
  • Publish a repository of best practices for internationalizing the curriculum and meaningful international experiences based on case study reports from all colleges and other sources;
  • Strengthen and streamline organizational structures in support of internationalization efforts, encourage collaboration among key units such as GEIGE (the Global Education, Engagement, and Inclusion Group), the Internationalization Council, CIEN (Cornell International Education Network), and the Language Education Council;
  • Secure institutional leadership agreements, organize meetings with relevant units, and develop action plans to further develop and implement the above recommendations.


Panel Discussions and Presentations

Harvey Charles: The Research University: Answering the Challenges of a Global Age


Faculty panel: Internationalizing the Curriculum: Case Studies from Cornell


Student panel: Reflecting on International Experiences


Lynn Anderson: Integrating Education Abroad into the Curriculum


Fredrik Logevall: Internationalization Symposium Closing Remarks


Additional Information

Below you will find links to information about the symposium.

PDF icon Agenda

PDF icon Co-Organizers

PDF icon Distinguished Speakers

PDF icon Cornell Case Studies

PDF icon Final Report