Global Experiences Innovation Fund

Global Experiences Innovation Fund

Student talking on video chat to another student.

During this period of uncertainty and adaptation, the field of international education has pivoted to embrace new modalities of global learning. At Nebraska, we are reimagining global experiences in Summer 2021 and beyond, to expand students’ academic, professional, and intercultural learning.

The Education Abroad Office, in partnership with the Office of Global Strategies, has created a Global Experiences Innovation Fund to support faculty and staff in the development and promotion of innovative virtual, on-campus or "glocal," and domestic programs for Summer 2021 and Fall 2021. In addition, the Fund will support faculty and staff efforts to integrate education abroad more seamlessly into the curriculum.

Statement of Interest

Interested faculty/staff are invited to submit 1) a statement of interest describing their vision for the program (suggested 500 word limit), 2) a brief letter of support from the chair of the academic unit and/or staff member’s direct supervisor, and 3) a budget request. The deadline to submit for consideration is January 26, 2021 (due to weather on 1/25) at 12:00 NOON - extended from January 20!

To submit a statement of interest for a virtual, domestic or an on-campus/"glocal" program, please click here. Preference will be given to programs that:

  • Are designed to be highly experiential and facilitate direct, meaningful interactions with individuals based in (or originally from) another location: peer collaborators, guest lecturers, experts, consulting project clients, etc.
  • Incorporate one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and/or University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Grand Challenges. If beneficial, foster cross-college and cross-unit collaboration.
  • Have a strong partner with a history of previous collaboration and/or potential for future collaboration (university, education abroad organization, NGO, etc.).
  • Show potential to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students participating in global experiences.
  • Launch in Summer 2021.

To submit a statement of interest specific to curriculum integration, please click here. Preference will be given to curriculum integration projects that:

  • Are initiated by a team including a faculty member and an academic advising staff member.
  • Focus on an academic discipline traditionally underrepresented in education abroad.
All University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty and staff with a permanent or long-term employment status are encouraged to submit a Statement of Interest.

Interested faculty/staff will request a specific dollar amount for the program or project, with a brief description of how the funds will be used (faculty/staff time, course buy-out, to employ students, to attend a conference/training, technology, etc.). Award amounts will range from $1,000 to $8,000, with consideration given to higher amounts if warranted.

Independently, the Fund will be used to make new programming affordable to students via subsidies and/or scholarships. As such, interested faculty/staff need not request funds to offset the cost of the student experience at this time.

Experiential Programs:

  • Attend a kick-off meeting for all recipients in February 2021.
  • Attend design workshops (3 or 4) in February 2021 specific to building global programs in a virtual, domestic, or on-campus environment, or curriculum integration along with other recipients.
  • Coordinate with Education Abroad staff to create a web brochure, budget (if applicable), and marketing materials to share with students by early March 2021.
  • Recruit students to participate and implement the program in Summer 2021 or Fall 2021.

Curriculum integration projects:

  • Coordinate with Education Abroad staff to conduct benchmarking, review programs, evaluate courses for credit transfer, and/or create advising resources that will streamline decision-making for students by offering a program portfolio with clear academic and professional benefits.
  • Complete the project by December 2021.

Upon completion of the program or project, attend a debrief session with Education Abroad staff.

Short-Term Goals:

  • Provide students with engaging global experiences despite the current travel restrictions, such as this Honors' Global Dialogue in Summer 2020, with the goal of facilitating approximately the same number of experiences as in previous years. Offer students opportunities to utilize their scholarship awards, such as the Gilman Scholarship.
  • Unleash creativity and possibility in virtual global programming, such as consulting projects and internships with organizations outside the U.S., multi-country comparative approaches, and connections to locations traditionally underrepresented in education abroad.
  • Recognize faculty commitment to providing students with new opportunities to engage globally, particularly in this challenging year of curricular adaptation.

Long-Term Goals:

  • Connect global programming at UNL to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and/or University of Nebraska's Grand Challenges.
  • Increase the total number of Nebraska students impacted each year by providing more opportunities to build global perspectives and intercultural competencies "at home."
    • Offer successful programs in subsequent years.
    • Provide greater access to global learning for students lacking the financial means or the time in their programs to travel abroad.
    • By building students' intercultural confidence and interest, create new entry points to study abroad for students who may not have previously considered it.
  • Once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, increase the number of Nebraska students pursuing education abroad each year, particularly in traditionally underrepresented academic disciplines.

Overview of Global Experiential Programs

Instructors can determine the length and credits associated with the program from as short as one week and one credit hour and as long as the entire term. Leaders can build a compacted experience with meetings multiple times each day or meet once a day (or less) for multiple weeks depending on the course content.

Academic Content: The instructors will be responsible for determining the academic content. Education Abroad staff can assist in coordinating guest lectures, panels with experts in the field, industry visits, tours of historical sites/museums, or discussions with faculty members from a university abroad to supplement the learning objectives with the support of one of our partner organizations.

Cultural Content: Here are some examples of cultural elements that can be added, even virtually, to the content of the course with the support from one of our partner organizations: city tours, visit to a local market, cooking class with student participation (Students will be provided with the ingredient list prior to class so they can participate from home!), introductory language workshops, music tour, art workshops, dance classes, sports class (Taekwondo, for example), discussions with local students, visits to local NGOs or museum tours.

Build a global experience for students here on campus by inviting guest faculty from abroad to Lincoln.

You could also develop a "glocal" experience by having students engage with local organizations, industries, and schools to discuss global concerns. There are many internationally-focused organizations based here in Lincoln and in Omaha. Students could interact with these organizations and in doing so, better understand the diverse cultures living within our community.

If the program is on campus, Education Abroad staff can assist with coordinating the travel of guest faculty to Lincoln. On-campus programs may also include virtual academic and cultural content.

A) Study Programs:
A virtual program can include many of the same elements as if students were abroad. In addition to discussing and reviewing the academic content of the program, students can visit a local market, travel down busy streets, or walk through a museum in another city; examples of some of the cultural components that can be added to the program with the support of one of UNL’s customized partners.

Virtual programs can also offer students the opportunity to travel to many locations within one course! Instructors can include cultural elements from one or more cities within one course to provide the opportunity to compare and contrast and apply the academic content to more than one culture or country.

Instructors should also build in activities and opportunities for students to get-to-know one another to build a strong learning community in a virtual setting.

Asynchronous/Synchronous: This will depend on the location of the program. Some programs will have a synchronous meeting in the morning to meet with guests/guides from the local countries and have an individual assignment or a recorded lecture to watch in the afternoon. There are many variations and possibilities.

The Forum on Education Abroad: How to design online global learning experiences
International Studies Abroad/Worldstrides: Introduction to virtual programs
CEPA: Introduction to virtual programs

B) Project-Based Programs:
Instructors are encouraged to include many opportunities for students to work as a team and collaborate with one another within the program. For example,

  • Program built on constructing a possible solution to a global concern in the country (or one of the countries) of study.
  • Working on a project in conjunction with peers from a university abroad.

Resources: University of Maryland: Global Classrooms Connections

C) Virtual Internships:

  • Instructors can augment their programs with customized virtual internships following the end of the study or project-based program.
  • Our affiliate partners offer virtual internships for a variety of student interests and majors. Instructors may want to focus on one affiliate internship option and focus on promoting it to the students within their academic unit. Instructors may also choose to teach an internship course for students participating on the internship.

Build a domestic program in another city and state with a global dimension. Collaborate with Education Abroad staff to build an itinerary with guest lectures, panels with experts, industry visits, museum visits and connections to the local community and culture.

Many students have yet to travel within the United States and many states and cities are very diverse and have much to offer when building a globally-focused program. Visiting one principal city and smaller surrounding cities can meet the course objectives, but students are always attracted to visiting multiple cities within one program.

A typical domestic program is between one and three weeks. Depending on the status of COVID-19 and the distance of the host city from UNL, leaders may decide to travel as a group by van (following mitigation procedures), train or air. Education Abroad staff will connect with University Fleet Services and/or Fox World Travel to reserve any group travel.

Domestic programs may also include virtual academic and cultural content, including visits to other universities and colleges here in the U.S.

Texas State: Domestic Program Examples
Susquehanna University: Domestic Program Example
International Studies Abroad/Worldstrides: Custom University Travel in the U.S.
Chronicle of Higher Education: Why a Global Education Doesn't Have to Mean Going Abroad

Curriculum integration is "incorporating coursework taken abroad into the academic context of the home campus. It involves weaving study abroad into the fabric of the on-campus curriculum through activities such as course matching, academic advising, departmental and collegiate informational and promotional materials, and the structuring of degree requirements. It often requires the review of coursework by the home institution’s academic departments."

The Education Abroad Office has begun partnering with campus colleagues to create “Education Abroad by Major” pages, such as this page for the School of Natural Resources. These resources help students: understand why going abroad is beneficial for their field, identify the best time to go, review major-specific considerations, and browse recommend programs offered by the university and its partners.

Funding requests to initiate curriculum integration should be submitted by a team including a faculty member and an academic advising staff member. A member of the Education Abroad staff will also help guide and contribute to the effort.

University of Kansas: The Curriculum Integration Process
University of Minnesota: Developing Major Advising Pages


Rebecca Baskerville (, Director of Education Abroad
Marnie Nelson (, Associate Director of Education Abroad

Q/A Sessions

The Education Abroad Office will host virtual Q/A sessions to assist applicants, click here to register.