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New initiatives increase globalization of IUPUI experience

May 29, 2020
mini flags of different countries stand on a table
The new IUPUI Dimensions of Global Learning provides faculty, staff and administrators a tool to develop intercultural learning experiences.Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

The Office of International Affairs is helping to bring the globe to campus classrooms.

The IUPUI Faculty Council and the Division of Student Affairs have unanimously approved the office’s IUPUI Dimensions of Global Learning, a critical step for the campus to achieve global learning for all and to “enable all IUPUI students to have at least one substantial global learning experience during his or her IUPUI career, either internationally or locally,” as set forth in Goal 8 of the IUPUI Strategic Plan: Strengthen Internationalization Efforts.

“We are committed to providing opportunities for all students to engage globally and to acquire the skills, attitudes and knowledge necessary for the interconnected world in which we all now work and live,” said Hilary Kahn, IUPUI associate vice chancellor for international affairs and IU associate vice president for international affairs.

Leslie Bozeman, the Office of International Affairs’ director of curriculum internationalization, said the Dimensions offer a framework that can be incorporated into all curricular and cocurricular learning activities, and they ensure that opportunities for global learning reach the 90 percent of students who might not currently participate in study abroad.

With study abroad programs currently suspended and travel restrictions in effect because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these increased efforts to globalize classroom instruction come at a time when global issues are impacting people locally.

“This pandemic demonstrates how interconnected the world is and how much we need to work collectively to address global challenges,” Kahn said.

The IUPUI student body is both regionally and globally focused. While nearly 87 percent of the students are Indiana residents, they share the campus with natives of 142 different countries and territories. Kahn cited Indiana’s collection of foreign-owned companies, jobs supported by international trade and the diversity of languages spoken in the state as an example of Indiana’s global ties and the importance of international education.

“Whether students go to Mumbai or stay in Marion County, they will need the ability to communicate interculturally, to solve local problems with global solutions, to work in diverse teams, and to be able to understand and successfully navigate difference,” she said.

The Office of International Affairs is hosting weekly Wednesday webinars through the summer to assist faculty and staff in integrating global perspectives in classroom and programmatic settings. The office also provides various resources for faculty and staff, all available on its website, such as support for virtual exchange and the Global Voices Speakers Program, among other strategies, to be more intentionally global in teaching and learning.

IUPUI was recently chosen as one of 10 institutions accepted to participate in Global Civic Literacy, a partnership between the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ American Democracy Project and the Council on Foreign Relations. Relying on curricular resources from CFR’s multimedia library, World101, the initiative is being piloted at IUPUI to help students increase their knowledge of global society and understand how global issues influence the lives of everyday citizens.

“The fundamental reason for educating global civic literacy is to prepare our students as global citizens,” said Youngbok Hong, professor and director of visual communication in the Herron School of Art and Design. “COVID-19 is an excellent example. The world is connected. Students need to be literate on global issues since they are critical for their life and career.”

World101 has 16 different modules filled with teaching resources on a variety of topics. Portions of World101 content will be integrated into classes of the Kelley School of Business’ I-Core curriculum and used by the Office of Student Affairs in orientations and social media posts.

Faculty interested in using World101’s resources should contact the organization’s IUPUI campus representatives: Hong at or Brian Starkel at

Additional efforts are being made to internationalize IUPUI students’ first-year experience in order to integrate global perspectives from the beginning of their college career. The initiative, which is in partnership with the Division of Undergraduate Education, aims to provide access for first-year students to encounter and successfully navigate multiple global engagement paths to obtain global, intercultural and multilingual skills for academic and career success.

“These foundations will be created by focusing on the integration of high-impact global practices in first-year-experience curriculum and will provide equitable access to global learning for students who may not traditionally have access to global learning, such as transfer and underrepresented students,” Kahn said.

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