Indiana University aspires to engage all our students in international learning and intercultural experiences to prepare them for successful careers in a global workforce. The Global Classroom program is a virtual exchange that promotes internationalization at home and enables instructors to add an international component to their existing courses by collaborating with a faculty partner abroad. Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) virtual exchange programs are not new but have certainly gained momentum during the past few years.
The increasing visibility of multinational organizations, diseases, and ideas has further emphasized calls for developing intercultural competence in all of our graduates. About ten years ago, the European Commission proposed that internationalization should ensure that the large majority of learners who are not able to travel or study abroad for various reasons are still able to acquire the international skills required in a globalized world. The U.S. Departments of State and Education include internationalization efforts as some of the key principles in their renewed international strategy. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has emphasized the urgency and need to act for collective well-being and sustainable development.
The Global Classroom initiative has the potential to build greater cross-cultural awareness and skills in all students, allowing IU to directly address the calls to action from global education organizations and the Department of State. It is critical to focus on developing intercultural competence, which is the ability to establish relationships and work effectively with people from different backgrounds. By integrating global learning into existing Indiana University courses, the Global Classroom provides opportunities for all students to develop cross-cultural awareness and collaborative skills effectively preparing them for future jobs. With its inherent collaborative elements and connecting education to real life, global learning is a high-impact practice that has the potential to transform our students into global citizens who will thrive in our diverse and interconnected world.
To date, there have been seven cohorts of Global Classroom fellows from across IU’s campuses with around 650 students and 37 classes with an integrated international component. The reflections from the Global Classroom fellows and their students have been overwhelmingly positive.
I learned so much about the intricacies of the Burmese culture and how to work with those who have vastly different working styles! I had such a good time in your class.Fall 2020 student
You cannot change the future if you don’t change your perspective.Global Classroom Fellow
The Global Classroom not only connects students with the world, but connects educators as well. It is really important to get the educators and the students out of their academic bubbles to connect with the world.Global Classroom Fellow
I enjoyed being a part of the GC because it felt like a real-life situation where co-workers or group members have to work together to complete given assignment. I learned to communicate efficiently and also learned to react to some unique situations.Fall 2022 student
It was really great to get to work with others from different countries. They had insights into the topic that I had not considered and really contributed to having a very well-rounded team.Fall 2022 student
It contributed to my experience by giving me the opportunity to work with people from backgrounds so different from my own. This led us to bringing so much more to the project and being able to see different perspectives.Fall 2022 student
The eighth cohort of Fellows will bring the virtual international experience to three classrooms this semester. Raul Crus (IUB), Denise Honaker (IUE), and Stuart Schrader (IUPUI) will enrich their classrooms by connecting their students with peers in Mexico, Rwanda, Morocco, Guatemala, and Israel. In line with IU’s global engagement, bringing the world to your classroom enriches learning experiences for all students as they navigate and learn how to gain the necessary skills to work with others locally and globally.
Interested faculty can submit a brief Intent to Apply form. The program coordinator will meet with applicants one on one to provide guidance, answer questions, and potentially assist in finding an international partner through IU Global’s existing networks, partnerships, and gateways.
The full application deadline for spring and summer 2024 is October 15, 2023. Decisions are made by mid-November. Faculty who receive the fellowship receive $3,000 to use towards travel to the partner institution, educational resources, materials, or other expenses related to designing and delivering the course.