Internationalising the curriculum with study abroad tours

Zelma Bone, Shevahn Telfser, Peter Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Student study tours have long been part of the pedagogy of the agricultural business management course at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Australia. The majority of these tours have been within Australia and concentrated on Australian agricultural practices. The tours reflected the constructivist educational philosophy which purports that students learn best through a process of personal discovery. In recent times this learning has been elevated to a new level with the introduction of study abroad tours. The stimuli for international tours has been twofold: at the macro level, internationalising the curriculum has become a major focus and requirement for Australian universities; and at the micro (subject and course)level, understanding Australian agribusinesses have global links and therefore the need to expose students to that world beyond Australian shores. In addition, there was a perceived need for students to further enhance their professional capabilities (e.g diplomacy, negotiating with people from varying backgrounds, understanding cultural norms) that can only be realised through travelling to and experiencing another country and its culture. The need to internationalise the curriculum is well documented. However, little has been written, in recent times, regarding the soundness or legitimacy of study abroad tours in realising this process in Australian universities. This paper explores the pedagogical soundness of the study abroad tour and its contribution in meeting the policy demands for internationalising the curriculum. The paper reports on a case study of the Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at CSU and its study abroad tour to Argentina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Learning in Higher Education
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2013

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