blog posts Event Recap: Inaugural Round Table on Faculty-Led Programs Apr 16, 2018 4:15 pmOn April 13, 2018, International Safety and Security hosted the inaugural Round Table on Faculty-Led Programs. This event brought Illinois faculty and staff together to discuss leading student programs abroad and provided an opportunity for participants to ask questions, share ideas, and consider how they can assist students in benefitting the most from their time abroad. Feedback was positive, especially as participants discovered that, despite how programs vary by discipline and location, many components remain similar. While health and safety topics arose, the discussion ranged widely, to include comparing faculty facilitation versus instruction and how that impacts the learning experience. Another discussion explored making the learning experience transformational for the student. While participants agreed upon the importance of “immersion” during the trip, approaches varied. One innovative approach is conducting a treasure hunt for items identified in the local language, which the students do not know. This facilitates engaging with locals in a fun and different manner. One safety tip that arose from this particular scenario was that this activity works best in a small or rural town instead of big cities. To conclude the event, the faculty were asked to share one tip that they would want a fellow program leader to know, whether they are a novice or experienced program leaders. It was interesting to hear how the faculty responded, each building on their peer’s previous response. The growing chain of tips included: Create a schedule that keeps students engaged and immersed; Build contingencies into that schedule because something will change; Discuss flexibility with students before departure so they can adapt and accept change, and finally, Stay positive and keep perspective in the face of change, modeling that attitude for students and remaining approachable to them. International Safety and Security hopes to conduct a similar round table in early November 2018. If you are interested, please check the calendar on their website's homepage, safetyabroad.illinois.edu. International Safety and Security will post more notes from this roundtable in the coming months.