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Academic Development

One of the most significant developments in education abroad today is the dramatic rise in the number of short-term, faculty-led programs being offered. Delivering an academic course within the context of an international program is quite different than doing so in the residential sense. It requires familiarity with the host culture and willingness on part of the professor to incorporate aspects of the host culture and student experiences as focus of the academic experience.   It is beyond the scope of this toolkit to offer tools for discipline-specific learning. Rather, academic development is broadly understood in relation to two interrelated domains: academic self-concept and academic self-efficacy. Each is briefly explained below and is followed by objectives that can be written into course syllabi. Each objective is paired with corresponding tools.

Academic Self-Concept

Perceptions of one’s own academic abilities. Incorporates both cognitive and affective responses toward the self and is heavily influenced by social comparison.

[View all tools in Academic Self-Concept, or click on an objective below to view the tools associated with that objective]


  1. Students locate and evaluate information and integrate knowledge from a variety of sources and fields.
  2. Students gain knowledge, and exhibit analytical and organizational skills from peer learning and teamwork.

Academic Self-Efficacy

Concerns primarily the extent to which students believe they personally have the capabilities to exert control over their academic environment and their commitment and involvement to course work.

[View all tools in Academic Self-Efficacy, or click on an objective below to view the tools associated with that objective]


  1. Students learn with a sense of purpose and develop self-determination and autonomy by correlating academic goals to their social goals.
  2. Students demonstrate a strong desire to achieve their social and academic goals by fully engaging in activity for the learning outcomes of the activity itself.
  3. Students explore adaptive alternatives when faced with difficulties to achieving their goals.


Site copyright 2012, University of Kentucky, Education Abroad.
Toolkit Authors: Duarte Morais, Ph.D., Anthony C. Ogden, Ph.D., & Christine Buzinde, Ph.D.
More information about the toolkit authors.

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