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Education Abroad and University Studies

Studying abroad encompasses a wide variety of experiences, including the traditional classroom experience as well as applied-learning settings, such as internships, practica, service-learning, and research. If you will be earning academic credit abroad, then you are studying abroad!

To use your Education Abroad experience to fulfill the Explorations Beyond the Classroom (EBC) requirement (it will clear you of the requirement, but you will not receive additional credit hours), you will create an ePortfolio in Blackboard and upload documents that address the three Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). After your ePortfolio is completed, you will share your ePortfolio with University Studies, which is listed as an 'organization' in Blackboard. Please make sure to include your student ID number (850 number) in your portfolio, and after sharing it, email Dr. McGuire at mcguireb@uncw.edu with your student ID number and "EBC portfolio" in the subject line, and she will then review it.

Statement for Students

Education Abroad ePortfolios submitted in Spring 2015 have been selected for the campus-wide General Education Assessment process. The separate scoring of your ePortfolio for the purposes of General Education Assessment will not affect your grade in any education abroad course or any other course work at UNCW, nor will the scoring of the ePortfolio affect your ability to fulfill your Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement. It will, however, help the university to identify potential ways to improve student learning in general. We will remove all identifying information. Your confidentiality will be maintained during the scoring and tabulation processes. You can learn more about the General Education Assessment process online.

Student Learning Outcomes and Documents

  1. EBC 1: Students will be able to articulate their expectations, the purpose, and/or the goals of the experience in terms of their personal educational development.
    • UPLOAD: One essay (2-3 pages minimum; 5 pages maximum) in which you address the above SLO. Talk about what has prompted you to study abroad and what you hope to get out of the experience (with a particular emphasis on your educational development). You can upload this essay before your Education Abroad experience.
  2. EBC 2: Students will synthesize knowledge drawn from their coursework to address the issues/challenges/questions involved in the experience.
    • UPLOAD: One assignment or a series of assignments from the course(s) you've taken abroad that provide evidence of how you've drawn from your previous coursework to complete the tasks you encountered while studying abroad, along with a short essay (1-2 pages) explaining how they enabled you to synthesize knowledge from your coursework. Or, if you're doing an internship or have another 'out of class' experience while abroad, consider producing an essay (verbal, photographic, video; 2-3 pages) or other type of multimedia project to address the above SLO. Be creative here. You can upload these assignments or multimedia project(s) while you're abroad or after your return.
  3. EBC 3: Students will be able to communicate the impact or significance on their personal educational experience and on others in the profession or in the field at the conclusion of the experience.
    • UPLOAD: One critical reflection (2-3 pages minimum; 5 pages maximum) that considers both what your expectations were prior to traveling (tip: re-read your essay from EBC 1!) and the work that you did while studying abroad (assignments turned in for EBC 2). You can address questions such as these:
      • What specific steps did I take in order to attain the goals I had prior to departure?
      • What were the most significant challenges and how did I address them? What factors made me more effective?
      • In what ways did my attempts to attain my goals or to test conclusions proceed as expected, based on my earlier understanding, and in what ways was I surprised?
      • How did this experience reveal my own attitudes or biases toward other people, toward the organization in question, etc? Have I made changes or do I need to make changes based on these insights?

      You should upload this reflection toward the end of your trip abroad or shortly after your return. And, remember to share your ePortfolio with University Studies so that you can get Explorations credit!