SITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION: We are currently finalizing text and graphics for this site. 

In 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit our campus, UMF received an Undergraduate International and Foreign Language Studies (UIFLS) grant from the US Department of Education. The purpose of the grant is to encourage the further internationalization of UMF’s curriculum through the development of two new programs: Virtual Global Experiences (VGE) and Global First Year Seminars (GFYS). These Global Classrooms Project provide unique opportunities for UMF to foster the internationalization of its curriculum, to increase student interest in international and foreign language studies and to provide professional development support to faculty in order to achieve these goals.

Virtual Global Experiences (VGE)

[Coming: map of partnerships]

The VGE program is designed to provide students with opportunities to collaborate with students around the world through Virtual Exchange, commonly referred to as Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). Faculty develop a VGE module in one of their courses with an international colleague teaching a similar or related course at another university. The UMF and international students learn about each other’s country — their culture, history, political and economy systems. Through collaboration on a small group project, the students gain new global perspectives, develop cultural self-awareness, and strengthen their intercultural competencies — key skills that are sought after in our global economy.

SYDNEY to add photos of VGE presentations – Spring 2021 ANT, GEO, EDU; Fall 2021 PSY, GEO, REH, SPA

Global First Year Seminars (GFYS)

Under the UFLS grant from the DOE, UMF plans to develop a new type of First Year Seminar that permits incoming students to have a global experience before they even arrive on campus! The GFYS will begin with a UMF faculty member and small group of first year students traveling to another country to conduct field work for 10-14 days in collaboration with an international faculty member and group of students. Upon return to UMF, they will continue their GFYS class along with their other fall semester courses, continuing their collaboration with their international colleagues via remote learning similar to the VGE program. Like UMF’s domestic-based First Year Fusion courses, the GFY Seminars are highly experiential with a global twist. Unfortunately due to the COVID pandemic, we have had to delay rolling out this program. We hope to pilot the GFYS program in Japan and Senegal as soon as international travel is permitted.

[Coming: map of UMF-Japan/Senegal]

Co-Curricular Programming

[Overview to Be Added]

SYDNEY TO ADD: GEO xxx led a Common Time outing on Forest Bathing. FB is…. [info from flyer]

  • Add Forest Bathing Photo

Rehab xxx… [info from flyer]

  • Add Fawkes Photo

Coming soon in December: Flamenco Workshop and Tapas Event

  • Add flyer

Faculty Development Opportunities

Under the UIFLS grant, UMF faculty and their international partners are also provided with professional development opportunities to assist them with the creation of these new programs. In fall 2020, eight UMF faculty and staff participated in a workshop on Global Learning Experience, and another 14 UMF staff and faculty members along with six international partners participated in UNICollaboration workshops to familiarize them with Collaborative International Online Learning and help them develop Virtual Global Experience modules.

In addition, the grant provides funding for faculty participation in professional conferences organized by the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), the Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME), the Forum on Education Abroad, the Modern Language Association (MLA), and NAFSA. In an effort to share their experiences and initial findings with colleagues, UMF faculty and staff have presented at the AAC&U, the Forum, and NAFSA, with plans to present at the AAC&U this February. The focus of these presentations has been on the ways in which Virtual Global Experiences can increase access and equity in Global Learning.

Forum Panel on Restructuring Global Learning