Intercultural enrichment programs: A contribution to curriculum development and study abroad in transnational education

Nadine Normand-Marconnet, Samuele Grassi, Narelle McAuliffe


In the fast evolving context of globalised higher education, increasing academic mobility requires constant adaptation from institutions. This paper focuses on intercultural enrichment programs, often perceived as mere “add ons” to study abroad, and usually designed as optional not-for-credit extracurricular offerings. We investigate how institutions can give more value to and deepen the intercultural learning of more students in spite of constraints of time and of formal curriculum during short-term study abroad experiences. Resulting from a close collaboration between academic and administrative staff based at different campuses, this paper provides a critical analysis of the benefits and challenges involved in developing co-curricular intercultural enrichment programs that support formal curriculum during study abroad. Practical recommendations are based on a transdisciplinary program developed in Italy by an Australian university that has branch campuses in different countries. We also discuss the “digitally enhanced” aspects of the program which facilitate the in-class activities.


curriculum; intercultural competence; learning experience; study abroad; transnational education

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