EUASA European Study Abroad Conference

February 10 and 11, 2022

Please join EUASA, the European Association for Study Abroad, for a free virtual conference intended for study abroad professionals working in Europe.  While aimed at a European on-site audience, anyone with an interest in the study abroad sector in Europe is most welcome to join.  

EUASA is a group of national Associations that represent primarily North American programs operating in Europe.  This not for profit organization seeks to give visibility and advocacy to study abroad programs to facilitate student mobility within Europe, to foster international understanding and to improve communication, standards of best practice and share key information useful to all members of the association.  The purpose of the Association is primarily to address the many complex issues affecting the establishment and functioning of such programs in Europe and provide specific up-to-date information on fiscal, legal and immigration matters in the EU area.

One of EUASA’s main goals is to provide a voice and representation for study abroad professionals working on the ground in Europe, and this virtual conference is a step towards developing a collaborative network of people who host U.S. students in Europe.  While we may work for U.S. institutions abroad, there is great value in working together to help raise the profile of European study abroad, learn from each other, and further professionalize the U.S. study abroad sector within Europe.

SCHEDULE

Thursday February 10, 2022 

4:00-6:30 pm CET, 3:00-5:30pm UK/Ireland, 10:00am-12:30pm EST

Session 1 : Climate Action and Sustainability in European Education Abroad

Stephen Robinson – Champlain College Dublin, Ireland (Chair/Moderator)

Scott Blair – International Higher Education Consultant, France

Daniel Ponce-Taylor – IOI (Intercultural Outreach Initiative), Spain

COP 26 in Glasgow recently focused the world’s attention on the looming climate crisis, and highlighted the need to drastically cut carbon emissions and embrace more sustainable lifestyles.  Study abroad is by its very nature a carbon intensive educational practice, with students often flying great distances to their abroad destinations.  This session will outline the magnitude of the carbon impact of study abroad in Europe, as well as providing leaders and programs operating on the ground in Europe with a series of steps they can take to minimize the climate impact of their programs through program adjustments, offsetting, onsetting, and insetting activities.  It will also discuss how to work with students to minimize their carbon footprints, while abroad and at home, in an effort to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Session 2 : Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in a European Study Abroad Context

Julia Carnine – Dickinson College, Toulouse, France (Chair/Moderator)

Janine Ludwig – Dickinson College, University of Bremen, Germany

Allison Davis-White Eyes – Fielding Graduate University, USA

Philipp Kneis – Oregon State University, USA

The topic of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has taken center stage at many U.S. institutions as well as study abroad sites. DEI workshops are being held and policies implemented. However, approaches vary, and it is not always clear (at least to field staff) what theory or scholarship is being referenced or what the bigger picture is. Some struggle with specific problems when trying to adapt these U.S.-focused ideas to their specific sociocultural context.

One reason is that DEI is not canonized as a clear theory or concept. Instead, several discourses and theses such as identity politics, cultural studies, critical whiteness studies, intersectionality, or critical race theory bustle around the field – not always closely connected and not necessarily forming a coherent overarching theory.

Therefore, this session will first attempt to clarify what we are talking about, define terms, and identify scholars, authors, and foundational works, at least in broad strokes, as a basis for discussion. Second, these theories will be placed in a historical context of political thought and cultural theory for a better understanding of their interdisciplinary academic background as well as political practice. Third, we will discuss intercultural problems resulting from the application of U.S.-centered approaches in order to highlight aspects that are relevant for international education. Fourth, a response paper presents a constructive approach to identifying useful practices based on an expert experience with policies in the field.

6:30 – 8:00 pm CET, 5:30-7:00 pm UK/Ireland, 12:30-2:00 pm EST

Social Networking Space

Come and meet fellow study abroad colleagues, session presenters, and EUASA members from across Europe and further afield for further questions and discussion, or just a catch up and social time.  This social space will be held in Wonder.me, allowing participants to move themselves around various themed breakout rooms.  Stay as long as you like, and move around between rooms as much as you want!  The link will be provided to conference registrants on the day.

Friday February 11, 2022 

4:00-6:30 pm CET, 3:00-5:30pm UK/Ireland, 10:00am-12:30pm EST

Session 3 : Evolving Hybridity in Teaching and Learning in Study Abroad

Pia Schneider – Iowa State University, Italy (Chair/Moderator)

Giacomo Sprocatti – Florida State University, Italy

Kelly Bohan – Middlebury College, France

The pandemic forced most study abroad programs to operate entirely online and quickly supply the necessary digital infrastructure to survive. With programs reopening, faculty and staff are called to establish a new framework of hybridity to ensure flexibility and accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Distance learning enabled programs to quickly shift to remote teaching and working, allowing the field to adapt to unprecedented and unpredictable times.

This session will discuss how we can move forward with hybrid models while still promoting the cultural exploration and on-site learning that are most crucial in study abroad. This discussion will touch on the ways in which we can maximize technological possibilities for staff in their work and faculty in their teaching to the benefit of student learning in the hybrid era.

Session 4 : Drawing the Battle Lines: The Future of Study Abroad in Europe

Karl Dowling – Big Pond Education, Ireland (Chair/Moderator)

Mark Blakemore – Big Pond Education, UK

Antonio Vanni – Accademia Europea di Firenze, Italy

Karen McBride – Bound International, USA.

The session represents a call for change. Technological advancements have allowed us to keep the study abroad show on the road throughout the pandemic in a strictly academic sense. Domestic and international education quickly and necessarily pivoted to an online or hybrid model, but at what cost? Even before Covid, life behind the screen was contributing to an increasing sense of isolation amongst our students. How can we, as educators, help our students find a sense of purpose, encourage the creation of meaningful bonds, foster empathy and focus their minds in this new landscape? What direction must international education providers in Europe take to help meet the needs of these students? These questions will form the basis of how international education moves forward. This session aims to satisfy the ‘how’ in our approach to meeting these needs.

 

Our first speaker (Mark Blakemore, Chief Marketing and Partnerships Officer – Big Pond Education) will speak on the importance of nurturing empathy across difference through shared experiences. He argues that a living/learning community that encompasses both peers and the local host community is the means by which to realise this. Genuine community engagement developed through long-term projects that puts the local community front and center is what transforms a potentially voyeuristic, transactional set of engagements into a truly meaningful cross-cultural exchange. Our second speaker (Antonio Vanni, Academic Director – Accademia Europea Di Firenze) will speak about the concept of citizenship and the importance of infusing it throughout both course and programme design. Tapping into the physical location and the rich history of European cities is vital in focussing students and forging the creation of meaningful bonds. Our third panellist (Karen McBride, Ed. D., President and Founder – Bound International) argues that the huge surge in virtual programming brought about by the pandemic has provided a roadmap for the future. She argues that thoughtful program design, targeted teaching methods, technological creativity and an integration of existing global learning values can make an international experience as meaningful online as it can be through travel, while also rendering the field more affordable and environmentally sustainable.

6:30 – 8:00 pm CET, 5:30-7:00 pm UK/Ireland, 12:30-2:00 pm EST

Social Networking Space

Come and meet fellow study abroad colleagues, session presenters, and EUASA members from across Europe and further afield for further questions and discussion, or just a catch up and social time.  This social space will be held in Wonder.me, allowing participants to move themselves around various themed breakout rooms.  Stay as long as you like, and move around between rooms as much as you want!  The link will be provided to conference registrants on the day.

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