Introducing 'MiamiConnects' Virtual Study Abroad Experience

Flower carts in Malaka, Malaysia

When you think of study abroad, it usually involves...well, going abroad. That's not always feasible, even when a global pandemic isn't occurring. Bad timing, finances, family obligations, and other obstacles often stand in the way of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Fortunately, there are other ways to engage with people from other cultures. In fact, now is the perfect time to think creatively about your concept of study abroad.

At Miami, the spirit of creativity led to a new study abroad option, MiamiConnects. Open to all majors, MiamiConnects brings different communities together virtually, providing a deep dive into another culture.

Global Learning Coordinator Dave McAvoy is excited to lead this winter's inaugural core course, IDS 199, Becoming a Global Citizen. McAvoy's course provides a grounding in digital literacy, virtual teamwork, and cultural literacy. "It also helps students map out an ideal path for marketing their global identity to future employers," said McAvoy. "Without leaving your home, you can gain the skills, strategies, and attitudes necessary to become a leader to colleagues from different cultural backgrounds."

miamiconnects-700x467.pngBeginning this winter, students who sign up for MiamiConnects can take a deep dive into the cultural diversity of Malaysia, or the legal and economic complexities of migration from Central America to the U.S. There's even a course that covers the new challenges to financial inclusion posed by digital technologies in Kenya's Silicon Savannah.

Other advantages of MiamiConnects workshops include

  • courses that satisfy Miami Plan Global Perspectives requirements
  • minimal up-front costs
  • no academic or disciplinary prerequisites
  • online workshops that can be completed on-campus, off-campus, or at home

MiamiConnects offers an inclusive and accessible alternative to international travel. Ryan Dye, Director of Education Abroad, envisions it as a program that builds upon existing partnerships with other institutions while making study abroad possible for all students. "MiamiConnects represents the future of university education, and we want to serve as a national model for best practices that encourage genuine intercultural learning and expansion of global perspectives," he said.

Interested students can learn more about MiamiConnects and other winter programs during a webinar this Monday, Aug. 24 (part of Miami's Welcome Week and First 50 Days programming.)

Visit for a complete listing of Education Abroad webinars and program deadlines.