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The Vienna Diplomatic Program: Goals and Outcomes in a Non-Traditional Study Abroad Program

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Title: The Vienna Diplomatic Program: Goals and Outcomes in a Non-Traditional Study Abroad Program
Author(s): Pahre, Robert
Subject(s): European Union Vienna Study Abroad
Abstract: The University of Illinois’ Vienna Diplomatic Program provides a nontraditional, semester-long study abroad opportunity for students interested in international organizations. It is grounded in a philosophy of experiential learning that combines study abroad and learning-by- doing in a capstone research project. The VDP is one of several programs using the administrative auspices of the University’s Austria-Illinois Exchange Program for its infrastructure. Students in the VDP may take English-language courses on international relations at our Vienna partner universities, or take German-language courses if their skills are sufficiently advanced. While in Vienna, each student writes a major research paper on one of the international organizations in Vienna. The Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, and the European Union have been the most popular subjects for research. Students report very high levels of satisfaction with the program. Students tend to come from political science, economics, and history, and appreciate having a study abroad program with a social-science and public policy focus. Student satisfaction is evident in the important role of word-of-mouth in publicizing the program. Graduates have gone on to both research-oriented and policy-oriented positions. Another group seems to have benefited from immersion into the transnational community of the expatriate, leading them to careers based on cross-cultural exchange and globalized society. Because the program is less than ten years old, we do not yet know its effect on the long-term career paths of its alumni.
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: European Union Center
Series/Report: Volume 8, No. 1
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18665
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed: not peer reviewed
Rights Information: Copyright owned by Pahre, Robert
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-02-08
 

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