Student-Faculty Partnerships as Intercultural Encounters: Co-constructing the Pathways to Global Learning


  • Olivia Jones Choplin Elon University
  • Emily Ford New Hanover County Senior Resource Center



Intercultural learning, student-faculty partnership, study abroad preparation, study abroad reentry


It is widely recognized that learning interventions that help student sojourners prepare for and process their study abroad experiences can increase those students’ learning gains. What if, however, students express skepticism or resistance to those learning interventions? This article offers a case study of a student-faculty partnership in re-designing and implementing a pre-, during-, and post-study abroad course sequence offered to world languages majors and minors at a relatively small private comprehensive university. We demonstrate that the student-faculty partnership led to increased buy-in from students and thus also to increased learning on their part. In proposing that student-faculty partnerships in course design can also be imagined as intercultural encounters, we argue that they can bring a unique richness and productive dialogue to designing powerful interventions for student learning abroad.

Abstract in French

Il est bien reconnu que les interventions d’apprentissage qui aident les étudiants en séjour à se préparer et à gérer leurs expériences d’études à l’étranger peuvent accroître les acquis de ces étudiants. Que se passe-t-il cependant si les élèves expriment du scepticisme ou de la résistance à l’égard de ces interventions d’apprentissage ? Cet article propose une étude de cas d'un partenariat étudiant-professeur visant à repenser et à mettre en œuvre une séquence de cours avant, pendant et après le semestre à l'étranger offerte aux étudiants spécialistes ou mineurs en langues dans une université privée polyvalente aux Etats-Unis. Nous démontrons que le partenariat étudiant-professeur a conduit à une adhésion accrue des étudiants et donc également à un apprentissage accru de leur part. En proposant que les partenariats étudiants-professeurs dans la conception des cours puissent également être imaginés comme des rencontres interculturelles, nous soutenons qu’ils peuvent apporter une richesse unique et un dialogue productif à la conception d’interventions puissantes pour l’apprentissage des étudiants à l’étranger.


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Author Biographies

Olivia Jones Choplin, Elon University

Olivia Choplin, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of French and Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Elon University. She coordinated the World Languages and Cultures Departmental pre-, during-, and post-study abroad sequence for three years. She regularly collaborates with the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center on faculty development programming for study away courses and recently co-led her first short-term study abroad course in France.

Emily Ford, New Hanover County Senior Resource Center

Emily Ford graduated from Elon University with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish and received a Fulbright ETA for Spain in 2020. She used her passion for language learning, cultural exchanges, and experience from a semester in Cordoba, Argentina to serve as a student collaborator on this project. Currently, Emily serves as Community Engagement Specialist for New Hanover County Senior Resource Center, making a positive impact in her community.


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How to Cite

Choplin, O., & Ford, E. (2024). Student-Faculty Partnerships as Intercultural Encounters: Co-constructing the Pathways to Global Learning. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 36(1), 531–562.



Research Articles