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About Global Scholar

Director Introduction
Listen to the director of Global Scholar talk about what you can expect and learn through this site that will help make your study abroad experience the best it can be.

Participating in study abroad during a student's college years can be one of the most rewarding experiences they can have. It is important for them to evaluate their reasons for going abroad, what type of program they are looking for, where they would like to study, and what they want to achieve by doing so. With all the options available to students who are interested in Study Abroad, searching for the best program for them can seem like a daunting task. Fear not internet research is one of the easiest ways to find more information about where they might like to study abroad and how to achieve that goal. Students will find it extremely helpful to do some research before going abroad: understanding a country's culture, laws, customs, politics, etc. can be tremendously important. The more they know ahead of time about their program, the better prepared and more confident everyone will feel when they arrive.

The intention of the Global Scholar Online Courses, developed by The Center for Global Education, is to introduce students to the opportunities and challenges inherent in participating in study abroad programs. Students will benefit from the courses by finding out tips and techniques to prepare for their program, how to cope with challenges that may arise while they're abroad, how to make the most of their study abroad experience while they're there, tips for dealing with issues that may arise after their return home, and advice on where they can go from here personally and in their career preparation. The courses provide them the opportunity for cross-cultural learning, making better sense of their experiences abroad, and further refining their skills in cross-cultural observation, adaptation, and communication.

These courses include information from students who have studied abroad, the staff who work with them in the U.S. and abroad, faculty who teach students abroad, and researchers in the field who have developed materials to help students through the process. Many of the topics dealt with are practical in nature, but theoretical and conceptual issues will also be explored. Regardless of where they are in their study abroad process, we hope that they will take advantage of the information provided here!

There are three separate courses designed to be of help to students, depending on what stage of the study abroad journey they are in. View the Course Information page to read more about:

Study Abroad Administrators and Faculty can download and print the User Guide. This thorough and easy-to-follow guide provides a step-by-step navigation and overview of the each course section. We encourage you to utilize this as another reference guide to help you and your students complete the courses and study abroad successfully. Information for all Global Scholar users can be viewed on the User Guide page.

Students who study abroad for academic credit and complete all three courses, including the Info Log assignments and the home campus and K-12 or Community College outreach presentations required in the third course, will earn the Global Scholar Certificate.

The PLATO Project

The Global Scholar Online Courses are one of the products of The Project for Learning Abroad, Training, and Outreach (PLATO) a national project developed by the Center for Global Education at Loyola Marymount University, and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education with additional support from the IFSA Foundation. PLATO is an integrated study abroad training, certification, and diversity outreach program which provides comprehensive support resources for study abroad available to all U.S. college and university students with special support for underrepresented students. PLATO responds to U.S. higher education's challenge to have no student left behind through the inclusion of a greater number of underrepresented students in study abroad, many of whom come from institutions with only a limited infrastructure to support study abroad students.

  • The Global Scholar Online Courses are the first national online curriculum to orient, train, and support students before, during, and after they study abroad, while highlighting the health and safety concerns of institutions and students;
  • The Global Scholar Certificate recognizes returning study abroad students who have completed the Global Scholar curriculum and outreach.
  • The Global Scholar Online Courses in conjunction with AllAbroad.us, another product of PLATO, support a national outreach effort for underrepresented students for study abroad. AllAbroad.us is a clearinghouse of resources, information, and mentors that promotes greater diversity among study abroad participants, including efforts such as K-12, Community College, and Multicultural Services outreach.

Support from the U.S. Department of Education FIPSE

PLATO is supported through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Comprehensive Program. The Department of Education promotes excellence in education for all Americans through educational support programs. The Comprehensive Program is FIPSE's central grant competition. The competition is designed to support innovative reform projects that hold promise as models for the resolution of important issues and problems in postsecondary education.

Support from the IFSA Foundation

The IFSA Foundation has provided support for the PLATO Project and intends to concentrate on projects that will provide much needed strength to undergraduate study abroad in the U.S. The mission of the foundation focuses exclusively on the advancement of study abroad as a major component of higher education in the U.S.

Partner Institutions

PLATO is administered by a consortium led by the Center for Global Education and the Safety Abroad First, Educational Travel Information (SAFETI) Clearinghouse at LMU under the direction of Dr. Gary Rhodes. Partner institutions supporting PLATO include:

Our Sources

Along with content developed by the Center, we have shared some of the best material in the field, including resources from What's Up With Culture?, School of International Studies, University of the Pacific, Bruce La Brack, ed. (2003), funded by FIPSE, U.S. Department of Education; and Maximizing Study Abroad: A Students' Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use by Paige, R. M., Cohen, A. D., Lassegard, J., Chi, J. C., & Kappler, B. (2002) with permission from the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota.

Additional Study Abroad Resources

Another PLATO resource designed for all students and particularly for students of diverse backgrounds (African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latin@/Hispanic-American, and Native American students), their parents, and administrators is AllAbroad.us. The website includes advice from mentors of all backgrounds, Top 10 Reasons for each to study abroad, Scholarships specifically for different groups of students, advice on dealing with discrimination while abroad, and resources for outreach.

Please also visit the Center for Global Education's Study Abroad Student Handbooks as well as our Study Abroad-Now More Than Ever site where you will find more information about the importance of study abroad and why students should participate!


We welcome any questions, feedback, or suggestions you may have regarding these courses or other resources! Please contact us at email.