RWU Study Abroad Experts Collaborate on Study Abroad Program Handbook

Along with two RWU editors, the book features nine RWU authors and their experiences leading short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs

Group Image of authors
RWU professors who contributed to “Passport to Change: Designing Academically Sound, Culturally Relevant Short-Term Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs" (from left): Robert A. Cole, Dale Leavitt, Min Zhou, Susan Lee Pasquarelli, Paul Webb (behind Pasquarelli), Roxanne O’Connell​, Brian Wysor, Autumn Quezada de Tavarez, Kerri Staroscik Warren, Bilge Gokhan Celik and Michael Scully (Celik and Scully were unavailable for the picture).​
Juan Siliezar

BRISTOL, R.I. – As short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs gain national prominence, a new book edited and written by study abroad experts at Roger Williams University and Wake Forest University offers readers a detailed framework and guidance on how to plan and implement such programs.

In recent years, over 300,000 American university students studied abroad for credit. Of those, approximately 60 percent were short-term (2-8 week) experiences.

Despite this, there aren’t many books that outline what these short-term experiences should look like or how they should be implemented. This volume, titled “Passport to Change: Designing Academically Sound, Culturally Relevant Short-Term Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs,” is a critical resource for faculty or administrators preparing to establish a short-term study abroad program.

The book is edited by Roger Williams University’s Susan Lee Pasquarelli, professor of language, literacy, and cultural studies, and Robert A. Cole, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Education. A third editor, Michael J. Tyson, is the assistant director of short-term study abroad programs at Wake Forest University.

“One of the major strands in the book addresses the importance of designing challenging curriculum with clear student learning outcomes,” said Pasquarelli, who has conducted a yearly RWU short-term, study abroad program in Sicily and Rome since 2005. “While creating the volume, we focused on identifying research-based curriculum elements to be sure that when we’re abroad we are providing the same rigor as we do in a university classroom.”

“We didn't want it to just be a theory-based book on curriculum development overlaid against the backdrop of being abroad,” Cole said. “We wanted to show what a deeply rigorous, academically-sound study abroad program should look like.”

Cover of passport to change Along with Cole and Pasquarelli, the book features nine RWU professors who contributed to the book based on their experiences abroad with RWU students to such places as El Salvador, Panama, Belize, China and Ireland. Combined with faculty from Wake Forest, the RWU contributors also suggest logistics for managing program details at home – such as recruiting and marketing – and while abroad.

"Through the book, readers will understand the difference between experiences that are more touristic than scholarly, "Cole suggested. "They’ll also understand how to design and market the programs to ensure the student experience is culturally-relevant to the international site."

The other RWU professors who contributed to the book are Bilge Gokhan CelikDale LeavittRoxanne O’ConnellAutumn Quezada de TavarezMichael ScullyKerri Staroscik WarrenPaul WebbBrian Wysor and Min Zhou. They each contribute or collaborate on a chapter.

The book, published by Stylus Publishing, is available now.