"Making the Connection: Praxis and Theory in Education Abroad"

Seventh Annual Conference
April 6-8, 2011
Boston, MA


The Forum conference theme, "Making the Connection: Praxis and Theory in Education Abroad" focused on the link between education abroad practices and the theories on which they are based. The Forum's work as the Standards Development Organization for education abroad sits at the intersection of praxis and theory. The Standards provide a roadmap for the development of best practices that both flow from and inform the theory " behind" education abroad programs.


The conference critically examined how and why we design, develop and manage education abroad programs, and how education abroad praxis and theory must respond to the evolving needs of societies, institutions, faculty, and students. Sound education abroad programming requires a theoretical framework informed by practice, and practices that are informed by theory. Understanding the vital connection between praxis and theory is essential for the future of education abroad.


Session and workshop proposals addressed how praxis and theory are developed in relation to each other, and how they shape education abroad program design and outcomes. “Praxis” refers to the process by which we apply theory in the various activities of education abroad programming. Theoretical models are implemented through the education abroad practices that we design and operate. As a field primarily of practitioners, education abroad practices are highly developed and well-shared; however, over time and as practices are accepted, they are often viewed separate from their theoretical underpinnings. “Theory” encompasses the foundation of education abroad mission, goals, and curricula. Theories underlying education abroad have evolved over time, responding to developments in technology, communications, travel, economics, politics, culture, student development, and changes within academic disciplines.


The Forum would like to thank the following colleagues for their time and commitment serving on the conference committee:

Karyn Jones, Yale University, Chair

Jan Bardetta, University of New South Wales

Neva Barker, Scripps College

Adrian Beualiue, Providence College

Jane Dickson, Interstudy

Rosa Marina de Brito Meyer, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro

Enda Carroll, University College Dublin

Jerry Guidera, Center for Cross-Cultural Study

Kline Harrison, Wake Forest University, Past Chair

Marilyn Robitaille, Tarleton State University

David Shallenberger, SIT

John Sunnygard, University of Colorado, Denver

J. Scott Van Der Meid, Brandeis University

Bernd Widdig, Boston College

Please visit the links below for more conference details.


2011 Conference


We look forward to seeing you in Boston!


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conference I've attended ...I enjoyed what you put together - good job!"
  ~ Conference participant, Charlotte 2010