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Global Citizenship

As education abroad takes on greater prominence in undergraduate education, its purpose is aligning with the goals of higher education. Given that more and more colleges and universities are integrating global citizenship as an essential element in the definition of an engaged campus, particular attention is turning to the role that education abroad can have in developing global citizens. Integration of such international experiences into the undergraduate curriculum is believed to be an effective way to motivate students to want to better understand global issues and to engage in behaviors that reflect the importance of being responsible citizens of the world. For the purposes of this toolkit, global citizenship is understood as a multi-dimensional construct that entails three interrelated domains: social responsibility, global competence and global civic engagement.  Each construct is explained below and is followed by objectives that can be written into course syllabi. Each objective is paired with corresponding tools.  

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Social Responsibility

Perceived level of global interdependence and social concern to others, to society and to the environment. [View all tools in Social Responsibility, or click on an objective below to view the tools associated with that objective]


  1. Students evaluate social issues and identify instances and examples of global injustice and disparity.
  2. Students examine and respect diverse perspectives and construct an ethic of social service to address global and local issues.  
  3. Students correlate local decisions and actions with global consequences of local behaviors and express their personal and professional responsibility to others.

Global Competence

Having an open mind while actively seeking to understand cultural norms and expectations of others, leveraging this gained knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively outside one’s familiar environment. [View all tools in Global Competence, or click on an objective below to view the tools associated with that objective]


  1. Students recognize their own limitations and abilities to engage successfully in an intercultural encounter.
  2. Students demonstrate an array of intercultural communication skills. They engage successfully in intercultural encounters.
  3. Students discuss and interpret world issues and events. 

Global Civic Engagement

Actions and/or predisposition toward recognizing local, state, national and global community issues and responding through actions such as volunteerism, political activism and community participation. [View all tools in Global Civic Engagement, or click on an objective below to view the tools associated with that objective]


  1. Students engage in or contribute to volunteer work or assistance in global civic organizations.
  2. Students construct their political voice by synthesizing their global knowledge and experiences in the public domain.
  3. Students will engage in purposeful behaviors that advance a global civic sensitivity.


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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