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Global Connectivity in Remote Environments

Oct 21, 2020 9:43:00 AM / by Cara Pizzorusso

Over the past several years, CAPA has stayed a step ahead by using state-of-the-art technology to enhance in-country study abroad programs around the world. This approach, known as Globally Networked Learning, transforms the learning and collaborative experience for students and teachers across time zones and cultures. From absorbing lessons in a classroom setting to viewing live tours and participating in experiential activities set in various global cities, see how the remote global experience is embraced by both students and educators.

When students study abroad, they will naturally have an international experience, where they will immerse themselves in a new culture, engage with locals, take in the art and food scenes of their host city, and much more. They’ll learn about the culture of their study abroad city firsthand, including communication styles, perspectives on time, work culture, and social dynamics.

Students who study abroad through CAPA (either in-country or online) will take their international experience one step further and transform it into a global learning experience. CAPA developed the Globally Networked Learning (GNL) approach to teaching and learning to enable this global experience, where faculty and students can collaborate, teach, and learn from each other across our network of program centers and now, from home.

GNL technology is facilitated by state-of-the-art tech infrastructure, including learning and conference management systems and integrated video conferencing. This model allows students to attend class in real time, connect with other CAPA students to collaborate on group projects, join guest lectures from industry professionals all over the world, and view recorded content on their own time.

Screenshot of a Zoom Meeting

In the highly connected and globalized world we live in, the GNL approach brings students together to share ideas and collaborate with each other on projects that address global topics and challenges. Through these discussions and projects, they will gain a wider perspective and broaden their understanding of topics that go beyond their home country and study abroad location. Students will also learn to work effectively across time zones and with people of many different cultural backgrounds, especially if they are participating in an internship. Internship students have the additional advantage of gaining direct work experience in their field of interest while immersing themselves in a work culture that differs from their home country’s culture.

CAPA student Sarah Harmon, who studied and interned abroad remotely this summer, shares her reflection: “Overall, my experience with CAPA completely shocked me in the best way possible. I went into the program knowing nobody, and I left after 6 weeks having connected with people from all over the United States as well as London, Florence, Sydney, and Dublin. Although I was hesitant at first, I am overwhelmingly glad that I took part in both the remote classes and the remote internship. I can’t wait to take part in a program in real life in the future!” Take a look at her final blog post of the semester to hear more about what Sarah gained from her remote global experience.

“Despite the isolation we all are taking part in at the moment, it occurs to us how our work in Globally Networked Learning is truly impactful upon our students. It brings individuals together across great distances. It gives richer shape and texture to our students' understandings of people living and working in locations far from home.”
–Kristin Dean, PhD, Director of Academic Technology & Globally Networked Learning.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring 2020_London_Annabel Thorpe_Annabel Thorpe Remote Global Internship Desk-FEATURED IMAGE

CAPA has been using GNL technology to enhance in-country study abroad programs over the past five years. The technology is especially critical in allowing CAPA to continue providing the highest quality of academic programs online, while also ensuring that students have unique and meaningful global experiences. Students who enroll in our Online Study Abroad programs and Remote Global Internships will not only benefit from GNL for academics, but they will also use the technology to immerse themselves in the culture of their host city through My Global City events. Available My Global City events vary by semester, and some examples include virtual cooking classes with CAPA Florence staff, a basic intro to the Irish language with CAPA Dublin staff, and a live virtual visit to the Salvador Dalí museum with CAPA Barcelona staff. Through these co-curricular activities and virtual excursions, students will explore and analyze global cities while working toward achieving learning outcomes related to globalization, urban environments, social dynamics, diversity, and personal and professional development.

Virtual MGC Events - Florence

CAPA Events Calendar

The overall remote global experience that GNL enables allows us to connect transnationally in remote environments and continue teaching and learning through all aspects of the CAPA experience: the classroom and coursework, experiential activities such as internships and field studies, and other aspects such as My Global City events. Remote work and virtual classrooms are likely here to stay for a while, so, we will continue providing opportunities for students to improve their remote working skills and competencies.

As CAPA Professor Owen Aubrey shared with us, “Looking to the future, I have no doubt that working from home and world-wide teleconferencing will continue to operate at a far higher level than previously. In a struggling world economy, overseas business flights will be greatly reduced as an economy measure and because people and businesses will be more comfortable with teleconferencing. Hence the GNL component of our courses will give students practical experience in communicating with people in different time zones – something they would want to put on their CV.”

Learn more about in-country and online study abroad and internship options for 2021:

Learn more: CAPA's 2021 study abroad and global internship programs

Topics: International Education