Providing education abroad or “study abroad” opportunities is one form of international engagement in which many colleges and universities participate. The National Association of International Educators (NAFSA) notes in their Trends report [link] that each year hundreds of thousands of U.S. college students engage in short term, semester-long, or year-long study abroad programs. While rates of student participation have increased, opportunities to access study abroad may remain largely out of reach for many students. Yet, following last week’s Student Affairs Live episode [link], study abroad is noted one example of a “high-impact practice”, resulting in a number of positive student learning outcomes. Paired with the significant student identity and development possibilities that occur within study abroad, what opportunities exist for intentional partnership between student affairs, program administrators, and faculty? How can student affairs educators work to support students before, during, and after their study abroad experience?

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Heather Shea (who recently returned from co-leading a study abroad program in Europe), connects with four scholars, experts, and national leaders to discuss trends and issues related to study abroad. Joining Heather are Drs. Léna Kavaliauskas Crain, Stephen Ferst, Lisa Landreman, and Elizabeth Niehaus.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:



Deardorf, D.K. (Ed.). (2009). The SAGE handbook of intercultural competence. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Lewin, R.(Ed.).(2010).The handbook of practice and research in study abroad: Higher education and the quest for global citizenship. NY

Vande Berg, M., Paige, R.M., & Lou, K.H. (2012). Student learning abroad: What our students are learning, what they’re not, and what we can do about it. Sterling, VA: Stylus.


Goode, M. L. (2008). The role of faculty study abroad directors: A case study. Frontiers: The interdisciplinary journal of study abroad, 15, 149-172.

King, P.M., Baxter Magolda, M. B., (2005). A Developmental Model of Intercultural Maturity. Journal of College Student Development, (46)6, 571-592

King, P. M., Perez, R. J., and Shim, W. (2013). How College Students Experience Intercultural Learning: Key Features and Approaches. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, (6)2, 69–83

King, P. M. (2014). Enriching the Student Learning Experience: Linking Student Development and Organizational Perspectives. About Campus, (19)1, 7-13.

Wong, E. D. (2015). Beyond “It was Great”? Not so Fast!. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 26, 121-135.


Episode Host

Heather Shea

Heather Shea

Heather Shea's career in student affairs spans nearly two decades and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she identifies as a student affairs generalist. Heather is currently serving as the director of Women*s Student Services in the Division of Student Affairs at Michigan State University having just completed her Ph.D. in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University in 2000. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_


Dr. Léna Kavaliauskas Crain

Léna Kavaliauskas Crain has instructed short-term study abroad courses in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, the Netherlands, and Australia. She has lived and worked in France and traveled to over 40 countries on five continents. These experiences shape her research, which examines the relationship between culture, pedagogy, and cognition (how culture influences the way we teach and learn). Léna received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, where she works in student conduct.


Dr. Stephen Ferst

Dr. Stephen Ferst began his career in international education as a student worker in a study abroad office, purely by chance.  As an undergraduate student he subsequently spent a semester abroad in Israel. Upon graduating from Rutgers University he was offered a position recruiting for the Study Abroad Office and continued working there for nearly 20 years as an advisor, program manager, overseas resident director, and Director of the office.   He currently serves as Executive Director of the Center of International Service at The College of Staten Island in New York where he is responsible for leading the College’s internationalization efforts. Throughout his career he has authored books and articles on creating international partnerships, nontraditional study abroad programming, welcoming U.S. students overseas, studying abroad with disabilities, and legal issues in education abroad.  In 2004 he was awarded the Lily von Klemperer Award given annually to recognize people who have mentored other education abroad professionals in the field and who maintain the highest standards of professional ethics while sharing their skills, knowledge, and expertise with colleagues.  He is also a tireless advocate for international education and in 2008 was awarded the NAFSA Advocate of the Year presented to recognize an international education advocate who has excelled in grassroots advocacy and who inspires others to make a difference by engaging their elected officials in discussions and promoting policies that support international education and exchange.  Throughout his career he has served as the chair for the NAFSA Knowledge Community for Education Abroad, the State Whip for New Jersey and served on many sub-committees and task forces.  He recently served as chair of the NAFSA annual conference in St. Louis, as Vice President for Public Policy and Practice for NAFSA, and is currently a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.


Dr. Lisa Landreman

Lisa Landreman has spent over 20 years as a student affairs educator in higher education and is now as the Assistant Vice President and Dean for Student Life at Roger Williams University. She has been an active educator on social justice issues in classrooms, scholarship, study abroad, and throughout Student Affairs.  She has served in several ACPA Directorate body positions including:  the Commission for Social Justice Educators, the Commission for Housing and Residential Life, and the Commission for Alcohol and Other Drug Issues and planning teams for ACPA’s 2011 Baltimore Convention, the Social Justice Institute, and the Residential Curriculum Institute.  She has authored a number of publications on social justice topics and was an editorial assistant for About Campus magazine. She has traveled to 20 countries on three Semester at Sea voyages, twice as the Dean of Students and most recently as the Assistant Executive Dean. Lisa received her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan, her M.S. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, and a B.S. in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. She edited the 2013 book, The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators and was recognized in 2011 as an ACPA Diamond Honoree.


Dr. Elizabeth Niehaus

Elizabeth Niehaus is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, teaching courses in higher education and student affairs. She also served as the Faculty-in-Residence for the ACPA Commission for Global Dimensions of Student Development from 2015 until 2017.  Her research focuses on how educational environments are structured to facilitate learning and development for students, faculty, and staff, with particular attention to the international dimensions of higher education. She recently conducted a survey of over 400 faculty members across the United States, exploring their experiences in and approaches to teaching short-term study abroad courses.