Revolutionizing Short-Term Study Abroad

As with our semester-long program, our short-term options rethink what study abroad is, and what it can be. Short-term programming is the new trend in study abroad, and we are barely scratching the surface of its potential, especially as related to community engagement.  Short term programs often perpetuate the top-down (or outside-in) development model, perhaps even hindering community empowerment.  When this occurs, we refer to it as colonial education or colonizing study abroad.


Being able to live in another country for a short time needs to be seen as both a privilege and responsibility, especially when we consider that people in the communities do not have the same opportunities.

Thus, as with the Rehearsing Change program, almost everything about our short-term programming is different: 

  • We take great strides to assure that all programs are integrally linked to an organizational mission and practical application of sustainable community development (as defined by the host community/s). In other words, community development empowers study abroad, and study abroad empowers community development. 

  • Decolonial Education: There is no top-down or outside-in methodology, we respect multiple ways of learning and producing knowledge. All participants are treated as equals and all work is co-created between international students and local counterparts. We welcome and celebrate diverse knowledge in our spaces. 

  • Fair Trade Study Abroad: Communities are provided ample opportunity for growth through these programs, as well as agency and power in deciding what this growth looks like. Long-time community partners are often the leaders and principal facilitators of our short-term groups.