Otterbein University

Westerville Ohio, OH 43081
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Spring: October 21
Fall: April 10
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The Center for International Education & Global Engagement


The goal of global engagement and international education is to provide structured learning contexts in which students experience and observe values, beliefs, and ways of behaving that are different from their own. Guided, reflective, global experiences facilitate the understanding and clarification of a student’s own values and permit evaluation of stereotypes and misperceptions as well as the discovery of similarities between diverse populations. Students who have these experiences are better prepared to work effectively in multicultural and global environments.

Global engagement and intercultural education occur through classroom instruction (via the curriculum, research, or with interactions with international students); through participation in study abroad and off-campus programs (faculty-led short-term programs or longer semester or yearlong programs, domestic urban/rural programs); through participation in service, volunteer or internship programs locally and abroad (refugees, missionary, disaster relief programs, etc.); and through local engagement with multi-ethnic populations in the larger community.

Although often seen as occurring only internationally, domestic interactions can also be a catalyst for intercultural engagement as students reflect on positive and negative affective and cognitive change that results from comparing their own values and beliefs with those encountered. Successful intercultural engagement completed locally results in competences which are relevant to international encounters.


  • Students will develop cross-cultural mastery in their academic field and be aware of the impact global pressures have on local communities.
  • Students will interact with diverse people in the local and international communities to develop and hone transferable intercultural skills through the application of academic theories and practical skills.


  • Students will become global citizens by giving to the local and international communities in which they live through service and volunteerism.


  • Students will learn to see ambiguity and difference as opportunities for learning when in multicultural settings.
  • Students will learn intercultural skills locally which can be applied in broader, international settings.


  • Students will develop proficiency in other cultures (including language) and will build skills to integrate and apply concepts and practices across cognitive, effective, academic, and cultural boundaries.


Otterbein University has developed partnerships with more than 30 universities all over the world.

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