How to earn college credit while living in a foreign culture
1. Talk to …
- A professor who shows interest in cross-cultural learning.
- Someone in the academic affairs office.
- Learn what they call “cross-cultural learning” in your college. Cross-cultural learning goes by different names: Experiential learning, field experience, field studies, internships, externships, cross-cultural experience, cooperative education, etc.
2. Choose Your Learning Goals
Your institution gives credit not for the experience itself, but for what you learn from the experience. Talk with your professor about the 1) skills, 2) knowledge, and 3) attitudes that make up the learning goals of one or two courses that involve culture-crossing. Regarding these goals, your proposal needs to show how you will use your cross-cultural experience …
- … to develop your ability to integrate and apply (said skills, knowledge, and attitudes).
- … to deepen your understanding of these (said skills, knowledge, and attitudes).
- University of North Carolina – Field Experience: Developing Learning Objectives
- Report and Recommendations on Experiential Learning in H&S (Pages 2-3)
- Training, Developing, and Assessing Cross-Cultural Competence in Military Personnel (Pages 2-4)
- Strayer University – Example of Experiential Learning that Depends Directly on the Content of a Specific Course
3. Describe Cross-cultural Competencies
To describe what you will learn from a cross-cultural experience, specify the cross-cultural competencies which the experience is designed to develop. These sites discuss competencies:
- University of Victoria – Co-operative Education – List of Cross Cultural Competencies
- University of Victoria – Co-operative Education – How to Learn Competencies
- University of Cincinnati – Designing Honors Experiential Learning Projects
- Learning Counts – Competency Statements
4. Follow Models, Guidelines, or Examples of learning experience proposals:
- George Mason University – New Century College
- Block I Field Experience Reflection Paper
- Virginia Union University
- Guide to DePaul University Faculty for Experiential Course Proposals
- Cornell University – College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – Experiential Learning Report
- Knox College – Experiential Learning Guidelines
- University of Denver – Experiential Learning Registration Form
- Virginia Tech – Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Conservation – Proposal for an Experiential Learning Requirement
- Guide to Kent State University Faculty for Experiential Course Proposals
- UC Berkeley – Experiential Learning Forms