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In recent decades, study abroad participation has grown in the area of shorter programs with discipline-specific content. Semester and junior year abroad programs continue to offer high value to students. However, most of the program and enrollment growth at MSU as well as nationally, has come from faculty-led programs. At the same time, the field has progressed in thinking about how different programming choices can impact student learning. Programs of shorter duration require more intentionality in program design in order to maximize the learning potential. A number of recent major studies with external funding and large sample sizes have sought to address this question as well. An influential article by John and Lilli Engle, Study Abroad Levels: Toward a Classification of Program Types (PDF)*, establishes a typology for considering the impact of program options on student learning. The table on pages 9-10 of the article offers a quick summary of how choices of program design can influence learning objectives.


The summer faculty-led program is the model that is most widely known at MSU. Below are two other faculty-led program types that you may consider.

Faculty-led programs embedded in regular academic semester

Examples of faculty-led embedded model

Faculty-led programs as stand-alones during regular academic semester

Examples of faculty-led stand-alone model


Example of collaborative model


Example of provider model


Example of Consortium model

Dual Degree

As you discuss the goals for partnering with another institution or developing a new faculty-led program, please consider the broad variety of approaches and program features that are available to help you meet your objectives.

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