The traditional style of repetition or learning by rote has long been usurped by ‘learning by doing’. Experiential learning has been proven to accelerate absorption of information, bridging the gap between theory and practice whilst enhancing students’ skills and preparing you for the workplace.
Let’s be honest – hands-on learning is also much more fun! You can get a more immersive understanding of your subject whilst working collaboratively with students from around the world. It feels exciting, innovative and international.
Many universities now offer incredible opportunities for academic field trips around the world, full semesters or even a full year abroad, as well as the opportunity to get a foot in the door at an international workplace before you even graduate.
Studying abroad provides innumerable benefits, from giving you talking points on your CV to expanding your friendship group to include people from around the world. Spending time learning while overseas will set you up for a lifetime of success.
Successful, contemporary schools pride themselves on unparalleled experiential learning opportunities, including immersive courses and international travel. If you’re choosing to go to university, why not choose one where you can travel the world at the same time?
We’ve selected five universities with innovative experiential learning opportunities to put you ahead of the game when planning your career:
Illinois College runs group trips called BreakAways. Each trip has a specific focus with an educational component that connects multiple disciplines to the chosen location. These opportunities range in length from 10 days to three weeks outside of term.
If you choose to take one of these trips (and why wouldn’t you!), you’ll be given a US$1,000 grant to put towards it.
On top of the opportunity for BreakAway trips, study abroad programmes at Illinois College allow you to spend a semester or a full academic year either overseas or at a different university in the United States.
You might even have the chance to participate in an internship, not only giving you global experience but also introducing you to the workplace environment.
Opportunities like BreakAway and study abroad are truly immersive, opening the door for life-changing international experiences. You will benefit from other global cultures as you live, study, travel and work in countries like Belize, Jamaica, Cuba, Japan, Greece, Austria, Ireland, France and more.
These programmes are designed to help you adapt to new cultures, learn from diverse perspectives and enhance your ability to communicate in a second language.
With only 270 students currently enrolled, Bard College Berlin offers high-quality, small-group teaching in the humanities and social sciences. Courses are rigorous and wide-ranging in intellectual history, serving as indispensable groundwork for study in any discipline.
You can also broaden your studies by choosing from a range of electives in philosophy, literature, film, art history, the practicing arts, social and economic theory. German classes from beginner to advanced are also available, immersing you in the culture of Berlin.
The college supports internship opportunities and practical training, fostering many established connections with the intellectual and cultural elements of Berlin. The college even holds its own public lecture and annual conference series, also hosting a popular civic engagement programme. Students arrange regular extracurricular events themselves and run a number of college organizations in politics and the arts.
Through the global Bard Network, you could spend a year studying abroad at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson in New York, USA, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg State University (Smolny College), Russia, Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences in Abu Dis, East Jerusalem or American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
There are also opportunities to study at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Lingnan University in Hong Kong or undertake an ERASMUS program in France, the Netherlands or Italy.
As the only independent, private liberal arts university in the country, Franklin University Switzerland focuses its courses on integrative study, research, immersion and exposure to the world through travel.
At Franklin, you have the chance to study abroad for two weeks per semester on an academic travel trip, an integrated part of the curriculum which aims for students to learn through experience, producing culturally-literate, ethically-informed and intellectually-aware graduates.
The mission of Franklin University Switzerland is to provide a cross-cultural and multinational learning and living environment, inspiring students to engage with the world.
Challenging students through a curriculum that integrates the liberal arts with professional pathways, classroom learning and academic travel to global destinations. A degree from Franklin University Switzerland will set you up with international connections for life.
Le Moyne uses the rich history of Jesuit education as the foundation for its educational experience. All students study the Core Curriculum and in doing so receive a thorough education in the liberal arts.
Its interdisciplinary approach includes Mathematics and Science, as well as a comprehensive portion on writing skills and two courses to bookend your studies: the transitions seminar (COR 100) in first year and a senior transformations capstone (COR 400), both of which include exciting learning opportunities outside of the classroom, such as museum trips to New York City.
The school aims for students to become ‘agents of change’, working towards a more just and humane world, integrating contemplation and becoming compassionate adults. So much so that community engagement is deeply embedded into the school’s mission.
Since it was founded in 1946, Le Moyne has supported the local community through a variety of programmes including service clubs, a Committee for Urban and Regional Applied Research, DIVE Days of Service, learning communities focused on service-learning and Community-Based Work-Study partnerships with local agencies.
At Le Moyne, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in these transformational learning experiences, giving you crucial skills for the future including a desire for compassionate engagement in the world; a community spirit; the ability to lead; a refined moral understanding; and a desire to promote a just society.
If you’re keen to get involved with community engagement and social justice issues, Le Moyne could well be the school for you.
Like the other schools mentioned above, Centre College in Danville, Kentucky prides itself on the experiential opportunities available to students. Here, 85 percent of learners study abroad at least once, placing the college in the nation’s top three, according to The Princeton Review.
Centre College promises a deeply engaging, intensely personal education with a guarantee that if you meet regular academic and social expectations, you’ll complete all three parts of the Centre Commitment, (study abroad, pursue an internship or research opportunity, graduate in four years) or the College will provide up to an additional year of study, tuition-free!
Each year about 16 staff members across the full academic spectrum go abroad to teach their subjects in the context of another culture. This means that upon their return, teaching is influenced by global experience, making for more culturally-aware, globally-engaging courses.
Centre College students also have exciting international internship opportunities. During summer 2017, students interned in China, England, France, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, South Africa and Thailand.
From working with a member of the British Parliament to teaching English and music in India, and even medical work in the heart of Latin America – the global internship possibilities for Centre students are endless.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International