Special Issue on US Education Abroad: The View from Europe

Call for Proposals: 

Download the pdf verison of this CFP here.

Special Issue on U.S. Education Abroad: The View From Europe

Guest Editors: 

- Stephen Robinson, PhD, Champlain College, Dublin Campus
- Kelly Bohan, MA, Brown University, Paris Campus
- Julia Carnine, PhD, Dickinson College and University of Toulouse
- Ariadne Ferro, PhD, Asociación de Programas Universitarios Norteamericanos en España (APUNE) 


Europe is the number one destination for U.S. outbound education abroad students. Thousands of Europe-based faculty and staff members are involved in U.S. education abroad onsite hosting over 190,000 students in 2018-19 (IIE Open Doors, 2020).  Although ostensibly similar on the surface, there are many striking differences and gentle nuances to U.S. education abroad in Europe, such as differing laws, cultures, languages, education systems, health and safety issues, and available support mechanisms.  On-site staff hold the ultimate responsibility for the success of education abroad, especially in terms of student health and safety, managing local logistics and relationships, and often academic affairs. 

Until now, the expertise of on-site education abroad professionals has not had nearly as much attention in the field’s discourse as that of our U.S. counterparts, despite the closely connected nature of our collaboration.  With global citizenship, intercultural sensitivity and intercultural competency regularly cited as primary learning objectives for an education abroad experience (Stebleton et et al., 2013), the diverse outlooks and realities of host cultures and countries, as articulated by actors onsite, must be part of the conversation.  This special issue attempts to capture our contributions and the relationship between the sending U.S. side and the hosting European side of education abroad.

As student participation continues to increase, the case can be made for approaches stemming from Europe in a correction of solely U.S.-dominant patterns in the field. In terms of operations, pressing concerns on U.S. campuses today such as mental health treatment, sustainability and diversity equity and inclusion, among others take on distinct meanings when understood and applied internationally.  In an education abroad context, each of these issues needs to be adapted to local definitions and practices. Although often delegated from their U.S.-administrations, such intricate translation and transposition falls to staff and faculty abroad, those for whom such mandates do not always align with local contexts.

Research (Robinson et al 2020) has noted that these gaps in knowledge and influence lead at a minimum to misunderstandings, human resource pressures and at worst to disputes and faulty practice. Current research has noted significant impact factors in European sites by U.S. programming, and the need for co-creation of more equitable educational partnerships (Ficarra et al 2021 ). Further work calls for greater collaboration and understanding between researchers and practitioners who are fundamentally entwined in the particular pursuits of education abroad (Kinginger et al 2019) in order to capture diverse perspectives and processes.  By centering on European on-site staff discussing multiple sub-topics relevant to the field of U.S. education abroad, this special edition collection attempts to address many missing parts of our transatlantic conversation.

 Key Questions:

This special issue attempts to address the overarching questions of:

  • How does the perspective, experience, and work of onsite practitioners contribute to the success of an education abroad program in Europe? 
  • What gaps in knowledge and practice exist between U.S. based colleagues in the sector to know and understand about our work?
  • How has study abroad in Europe changed over the past few decades, what are the current trends, and where is it heading?
  • What is unique about the European on-site experience, from student, staff and faculty perspectives?

Some directions for inquiry could include:

  • Case studies in community engagement in Europe
  • In-country and continent-wide collaboration within European education abroad
  • Legal issues around U.S. education abroad in Europe
  • The economic impact of U.S. education abroad in Europe
  • Pandemic and post-pandemic issues in U.S. education abroad in Europe
  • The experiences of early career study abroad professionals in Europe
  • Comparisons between U.S. study abroad in Europe and the ERASMUS program
  • Sustainability and climate action in the European education abroad sector
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion within the European context
  • The status of language learning in European education abroad
  • The benefits and challenges of home stays during education abroad in Europe
  • Adapting to European education systems or adapting European faculty to American students?
  • On-site study abroad professionals in Europe and our experiences in the sector
  • On the use of AI in education abroad
  • Models of education abroad in Europe
  • Student perspectives on education abroad in Europe
  • Health and safety considerations in European Study abroad
  • Student independent travel patterns while on education abroad in Europe.
  • Mental health for students, staff, and faculty on European programs
  • The future trends in education abroad in Europe

Please note that Frontiers is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal focussed on supporting research in the field.  Articles are expected to engage with, and add to, the existing literature and research.  Reflective rigour and engagement with other literature is important.  It is anticipated that some of the articles will be informed by surveys of the larger European study abroad community.  Think pieces and critical essays that are provocative and add new perspectives are welcome, but personal opinion is strongly discouraged.  Articles based on a case study approach would also be welcomed.  We are looking for a diverse collection of authors, including early career professionals working in Europe..

Proposal Submission for this Special Issue

Interested authors should first submit a 500-1,000 word proposal clearly identifying a connection to the special issue by the call for proposal deadline of January 31, 2024.  Please include an overview of as many of the following as applicable:  purpose of the article, stance, theoretical framework, methods, data sources, findings, research conclusions, and practical implications and recommendations for innovative practice. Submit your proposal by initiating a new submission via our submission portal and selecting “Special Issue on U.S. Education Abroad: The View from Europe” as the Section. Upload your abstract as a word document with the submission.

Accepted proposals will be expected to comply with Frontier’ submission guidelines.

Full Length Submission Guidelines

- 5,000 -10,000 words
- APA style
- 150-word abstract
- Anonymized manuscript for blind review
- Title page with author(s) name and contact information
- 75-word brief biographical sketch of each author

Publication Timeline 

Deadline for proposals: January 31, 2024
Editors to Invite Full-Length Articles by February 15, 2024
Deadline to submit articles: April 15, 2024
Editors send editorial decisions by July 15, 2024
Revisions due September 15, 2024
Publication: early 2025


Ficarra, J., & Christian, J. (2021). Extending colonial critiques beyond service learning in the Global South: The case of Florence, Italy. Empires of the mind, 176-181.

IIE, 2020.  Open Doors report.  Institute of International Education.  Available here.

Kinginger, C., & Carnine, J. (2019). Language learning at the dinner table: Two case studies of French homestays. Foreign Language Annals, 52(4), 850-872.

Robinson, S.D. team leader, with 8 others, 2020.  Resident Directors in Europe: Our Community, Our Contributions, and Our Challenges.  A report of the European Association of Study Abroad (EUASA).  Available here.

Stebleton, M. J., Soria, K. M., & Cherney, B. T. (2013). The high impact of education abroad: College students’ engagement in international experiences and the development of intercultural competencies. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 22(1), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v22i1.316