This education abroad experience blends two-weeks of online learning with a one-week face-to-face experience in Scotland. Students from UAlbany, from any academic discipline, have an opportunity to work with a cohort of students from the host university partner in Edinburgh and Glasgow in an effort to advance learning and to contribute local knowledge to bridge cultural understanding.
A Cultural Intelligence (CQ) online module is utilized to provide a deeper awareness of CQ and its relevance for modern leadership, as well as provides you with the opportunity to reflect on and uncover the cultural influences that make you think and act the way you do. The online curriculum combines new methods of content delivery and interactive learning using visual media, articles, facilitated discussions, leadership exercises and anecdotes to facilitate structured reflection and group engagement.
Emphasis will be on development of leadership skills in an international context, diversity, innovation with regard to social change, and the development of collaborative relationships. Your application of foundational knowledge and integrated learning is demonstrated in written assignments, oral presentations, and performance.
*Program is subject to minimum enrollment.
This course will introduce you to the leadership pedagogy of cultural intelligence. Using immersive and experiential learning techniques, you will develop:
- Cultural intelligence (ability to cross boundaries and thrive in multiple cultures)
- Leadership skills required to lead in situations where you have no formal authority
- Networks, locally and globally, with fellow students, contributors and regional employers
- Skills required to quickly understand and address complex issues
Please refer to the 2018 Syllabus for additional course information. The 2019 syllabus is forthcoming.
The first week, the week prior to travel, involves online experiences that include an introduction to the course, preparation for being abroad, and expectations. You are required to read materials and participate in online review and discussion sessions. In addition, you will submit a Leadership Self-Reflection Paper at the end of the first week.
The second week of the course involves face-to-face experiential learning in Scotland (further details below). Over seven days, working with UAlbany staff and local students as guides, you are immersed in the multifaceted reality of Scotland. This provides you with the opportunity to develop cultural intelligence and reflect deeply on your own leadership styles. Each day begins at 7:30 a.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. with all meals shared together. During this week abroad, you are introduced to InnoVenture, a technique that asks you to explore a challenge and provides a framework for your leadership learning. You are immersed into the culture through a series of visits to organizations representing different sectors (as an example, in Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Parliament, BBC Scotland, RBS World Bank, Weir Group, Homeless World Cup, National Health Service, Glasgow Science Centre, Rockstar North, Cancer Research of Scotland, Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh International Festival, etc.). In addition, you will explore the challenge and practice the leadership skills required to quickly understand and address complex issues. You are also encouraged to explore the culture of the host organizations, and reflect on what your are learning about yourself and the way you operate in unfamiliar environments.
The last week of the course, the week following travel to Scotland, involves online experiences that include debriefing sessions with group discussions and requires final submission of the Leadership Profile Project.
On-Site in Scotland
Over six days, working with UAlbany staff and local students as guides, you are immersed in the multifaceted reality of your new country. This provides you with the opportunity to develop cultural intelligence and reflect deeply on your own leadership styles. Each day begins at 7:30 a.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. with all meals shared together.
March 12: Arrive to Scotland and get acclimated to the environment together. Through a series of highly participatory sessions, you will reflect deeply on your strengths, blind spots, and how to develop as a leader. You will be introduced to InnoVenture, a technique that asks you to explore a challenge (such as, “what makes a city resilient?), and provides a framework for leadership learning.
March 13: You will be immersed into your new city through a series of visits to organizations representing different sectors (as an example, in Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Parliament, BBC Scotland, RBS World Bank, Weir Group, Homeless World Cup, National Health Service, Glasgow Science Centre, Rockstar North, Cancer Research of Scotland, Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh International Festival, etc.). You will explore the challenge and practice the leadership skills required to quickly understand and address complex issues. You are also encouraged to explore the culture of the host organizations, and reflect on what you are learning and the way you operate in unfamiliar environments.
March 14: You will continue to connect with senior leaders during further immersion visits and organizations across the city. You are encouraged to consider your own default positions and challenge yourself to operate in different ways. In groups, you will begin to innovate potential solutions to the challenge. At this point, you will be joined by mentors and external consultants who provide a further opportunity to observe and reflect on different leadership styles, different approaches to problem solving, and different ways to work with diverse groups.
March 15: You will receive a masterclass on pitching in preparation for your final group presentation, which is delivered to a panel of experts and city leaders. You will present your project ideas, as well as your external perspectives on the city and the challenge. You will receive immediate feedback on your idea, your group presentation, and how you have worked as a collective group. After the pitch, you will reflect on the leadership skills and cultural intelligence you have developed, and how you can use these to create change at the University at Albany, in your communities, and in your future careers.
March 16: You will complete a qualitative and quantitative evaluation using methodology built on the Kirkpatrick Model and focuses on your behavior change after the program and will be repeated three months later to evaluate how that change created an impact in your organizations, cities, and communities. You will have meals together and will participate in a group excursion/activity. Group Leadership presentation will be due.
March 17: You will return home. The remainder of the class will involve online learning.
This program counts as a 1-credit course. The course is equivalent to EAPS 487 (EAPS 687 for graduate students) – Institute in Higher Education: Leading with Cultural Intelligence.
General Education Information for UAlbany Students
Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary. NOTE: This course is S/U graded (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory).
||This course is taught by Professor Martha Asselin. Dr. Asselin is the Director of UAlbany's Center for Leadership and Service, with more than 30 years of professional experience in higher education. She is also a visiting professor for the Educational Policy and Leadership program. Dr. Asselin is the instructor for this course.
In addition to your faculty, three to five UAlbany faculty and staff mentors will join you on-site. Their role is to provide students with educational, cultural, and leadership support.
You will reside near the Heriot Watt University campus. More information on the accommodations will be provided at the pre-departure orientation.
All meals in Scotland, except snacks, are included as part of the program.
Estimate of Costs
2019 Estimate of Costs forthcoming. For reference, review the 2018 Estimate of Costs.
Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.
Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.
The program is open to all students in good academic standing. Students with a major or interest in Business, Cultural and Area Studies, Education, International Business, Leadership, Public Policy, and/or Social Welfare will find the course of particular interest.
Experiential learning plays a critical role in your program experience. Both the overall program and individual courses include a number of cultural and historical excursions* to important and influential sites. As part of the course, you will participate in local business and non-profit site visits, as well as cultural excursions.
Past Excursions and Activities
- Scottish Parliament
- BBC Scotland
- RBS World Bank
- Weir Group
- Homeless World Cup
- National Health Service
- Glasgow Science Centre
- Rockstar North
- Cancer Research of Scotland
- Murrayfield Stadium
- Edinburgh International Festival
*Excursions are a mandatory part of the program and specific destinations vary by program and availability.
**Schedule is tentative and subject to change
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.
In Their Own Words
“It has been eye opening to witness the process that is this program and experience the outcome. I would do this 10 more times and I am sure, I will learn something new every time.“
Cheryl, Education, University at Albany
“I loved this program so much! I’m thankful for this opportunity to connect with a diverse group of people and great leaders. I hope there will be more sessions like this that can be available for more and more students to educate everyone.”
Rica, Heriot-Watt University
“This program was a confidence boost and such a unique way to validate me in the sense that my leadership confidence teeters because they are so centralized in small communities, but seeing myself apply all of that knowledge and experience and have it be well received was amazing. The variety in simulations, group dynamics and overall thoughtfulness of the program is much appreciated. You should be so proud of your work! I am honored to participate.
Vianne, Political Science, University at Albany
“It has been a life changing experience! I am honestly a changed person, and feel so much better about myself after the program. The speakers and the team was brilliant.”
Edel, Heriot-Watt University
“I am so surprised at how much this course has affected me. I have loved every single day - every day has been a new challenge, a new reflection, I’ve deepened another skill and the people I have met have also taught me so much about the world and myself. After taking this course I feel more confident that I can be a leader and I can use constructive criticism to better myself. I’m sad the week is over but can’t wait to take what I have learned and put it into action.”
Katie, Heriot-Watt University
Speak with an Advisor
About the City
Edinburgh is a vibrant and historic capital city - regularly voted as one of the most desirable places to live in the world - with world-famous cultural festivals and the mountains and beaches of Scotland at its doorstep. The city's World Heritage Site covers almost 2 square miles and over 75% of all the buildings are listed, giving it the highest concentration of listed buildings anywhere in the United Kingdom. Large enough to offer something for everyone, but small enough to feel like home, Edinburgh is a modern, sophisticated and beautiful European city with a diverse, multicultural community. The city is a favorite of businesses and students alike. Not only is it home to more FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange)100 companies than any other U.K. city outside London, it is also ranked the second best student city in the U.K.
Located in the heart of the city, your home base while abroad is Hariot Watt University. Here, you will be provided with a clean and comfortable living space on campus. Hariot Watt's Edinburgh housing is situated in 380 acres of green parkland, yet still just moments away from one of Europe's most exciting cities.
A valid U.S. passport is required to participate in this program. If you are a permanent resident or international student, a visa may be required. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.
Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:
- Summer programs: December
05/12/2018 to 05/17/2018
Three-week Blended Course
This program includes three weeks of blended coursework that takes place before and after the on-site portion of the program in Scotland.
On-site in Scotland
March 11: Depart the U.S.
March 12: Arrive in Scotland
March 13-16*: Onsite Experience in Scotland
March 17: Depart for the U.S.
Please refer to the 2018 Program Schedule. The 2019 schedule is forthcoming.
*Schedule is tentative and subject to change
Optional Group Flight
You may elect to participate in an optional group flight, departing from either John F. Kennedy airport (in New York City) or Newark International airport (in New Jersey). A UAlbany staff member will accompany the group flight and coordinate taking you to your housing. More information regarding the group flight is available upon acceptance.
Independent Flight Arrangements
If you are making your own flight arrangements, be sure to contact UAlbany before you leave to let us know whether you plan to meet the group at the airport in Edinburgh or go directly to your housing on your own and at your own expense. If you do not take the group flight, you will NOT be met at the airport in Edinburgh and must make your own arrangements (at your own expense) to meet up with the group. You should plan to be in Edinburgh on the date the group flight arrives. This is considered the beginning date of the program, and orientation will begin that day. If you are traveling beforehand, be sure to give yourself enough time to get to Edinburgh by the arrival date.
About the Program
UAlbany has partnered with Common Purpose to create a leadership experience in Scotland to compliment the EAPS 487 – Institute in Higher Education: Leading with Cultural Intelligence course. Common Purposes is a not-for-profit leadership development organization that specializes in cross boundary leadership.
Your journey begins online with preparatory coursework, where you are introduced to the leadership pedagogy of Cultural Intelligence (CQ). As you get to know the other students in your class, you will develop ways of working that enable you to maximize the week-long, face-to-face experience in Scotland. The course finishes back at UAlbany, both in-person and online, to complete the objectives of the course.
Throughout the stages of the experience, you will work towards the following learning outcomes:
While in Scotland, working with local students as guides, you will be immersed in the multifaceted reality of your host city, giving you the opportunity to develop Cultural Intelligence and reflect on both yourself and your leadership. During the program you will learn from senior leaders from organizations such as the Scottish Parliament, BBC Scotland, RBS World Bank, Weir Group, Homeless World Cup, National Health Service, Glasgow Science Centre, Rockstar North, Cancer Research of Scotland, Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh International Festival, to name a few!
- Developing Cultural Intelligence
- Expanding leadership skills in an international context
- Broadening networks
- Exploring Innovative solutions to complex problems
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The spring break pre-departure orientation is typically conducted on a weeknight in February.
Upon arrival in Scotland, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by the Faculty Leader and Common Purposes.
The information at these sessions includes:
- A familiarization tour
- Information outlining life in Scotland, including cultural difference, and safety information
- An introduction to academic expectations
- A welcome meal — this is a great opportunity to meet with other students on the program
Your Faculty Leader is responsible for guiding all aspects of the program and will be available throughout the on-site portion of the course to manage any concerns or questions you may have while abroad. The faculty accompany you on all program activities and outings.
UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.