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How to create an experiential, cross-cultural international learning experience: A Case Study at the Rio Summer Olympics

For 2 weeks during the Rio Summer Olympics, a group of 19 students from Queens University of Charlotte (USA) and 6 students from Mackenzie Presbyterian University (Brazil) worked side by side to provide professional-level journalistic coverage on trending stories from the Games, along with in-depth reporting on the impacts of the Olympics on life in Rio de Janeiro. Much more than a unique international working experience, the opportunity empowered the international and Brazilian students to work together, developing cross-cultural working collaborations to finalize professional reports.

By encouraging working relationships, both the visiting international students and their Brazilian peers were able to effectively share knowledge while demonstrating responsibility, autonomy and emotional intelligence under supervision of 2 faculty members from Queens University. Ultimately resulting in a more inclusive, conscious and collaborative international education experience.

Choosing this innovative path, nonetheless, presents new challenges for universities, international offices, faculty leaders and students. This presentation will share important insights and valuable lessons learned from this experience that can contribute to future international programs. It is especially pertinent to the following topics: short-term programing, internationalizing at home, project-based programing, key trends on international study-programs.


Daniel Amgarten    
Campus Brasil

Angelle Edwards    
Queens University of Charlotte
United States

Cindy Veloso    
Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie


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