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Can Short-stay International Field Immersion Programs have Real Impact? Fusing Sustainable Development and Entrepreneurship Curricula

This presentation will focus on the five-year evolution of a short-stay field immersion program in International Social Entrepreneurship, which for the first time integrated with a similar program in sustainable development this year. The program combines a one-semester capstone multidisciplinary team-project course on campus in the US with a ten-day field research component abroad. Short-stay international field study programs, while attractive for flexibility and convenience relative to semester or year long study-abroad options, are notoriously challenging vehicles for generating real social impact. This year’s program was in Kenya, with several projects, a subset of which focused on expanding implementation of (partially NCIIA-funded) water filtration technology. The depth of experience, learning, and outcomes for both students and our Kenyan partners were notably superior this year. The three authors will explore, from faculty and student perspectives, the evolution of the program and substantive structural differences this year that may have improved results.

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