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Program Overview

Global Integrated Learning & Design (GILD) is designed to encourage and support faculty in creating course-based experiential learning and/or co-curricular research opportunities that are international and cross-cultural, and enhance students’ capacities to engage in complex problems. Tufts faculty will partner with faculty or staff in a university or organization in another country to design a learning experience as part of their course or research program, and students collaborate across boundaries to meet learning objectives through a variety of techniques. The Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), Tufts Global Education, and the Office of the Provost jointly support the GILD initiative.

All Tufts faculty are eligible to participate in GILD. For questions about the program or application process, please contact Christine Hollenhorst

  1. Integrate dynamic global learning experiences (international / intercultural) into courses and research opportunities throughout the curriculum to fulfill the Tufts global education mission.
  2. Develop student skills necessary for effective cross-cultural interaction and understanding.
  3. Develop students’ analytical, critical and collaborative thinking skills
  4. Provide authentic, experiential research and project-based learning opportunities that require integration and application of disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary knowledge.
  5. Foster individual and cross group reflection in and on learning
  6. Create global partnerships between faculty and students at Tufts and partner institutions to address a shared complex problem through different cultural lenses. These can be (and often are) combined very effectively with short-term study abroad experiences.
  7. Expand faculty connections with other academic, research, NGO, and corporate partners abroad.

There are a variety of potential models for implementing GILD in a course or research activity:

  1. Full Course. Professors at Tufts and an international partner design and co-teach a full course together in a connected classroom with project-based collaborative learning opportunities.  The course can be completely online—enrolling students from both (or more) universities on a single platform—or connect in-person classrooms at Tufts and partner universities.
  2. Module within an existing course at Tufts with an international partner.  A common module, lasting 4-8 weeks, is developed for separate courses at Tufts and partner institution(s) and engages students in joint assignments, projects or shared productions as part of the course. Joint assignments are graded (often separately by each professor) and become part of the grade for the course.  The courses do not need to be identical, but may be complementary, with the shared module providing an interdisciplinary experience.
  3. Parallel Projects. Parts of courses or co-curricular modules at different universities on the same theme with an initial meeting, common readings, peer review and/or other interaction during the semester, and end of project symposium to share learning. 
  4. Joint Research Projects. Faculty and students from Tufts and a partner institution engage in research together—working online/remotely for much of the research, with the possibility of in-person teamwork in the US and/or partner country as well. These projects could be part of a course or could be a co-curricular activity.

Courses and activities can be in the same discipline or in different disciplines with modules coming together around a point of intersection (e.g., online international learning module between journalism and chemistry class focusing on how science is viewed and written about in each country).

Joint courses and/or activities may be entirely online or may involve a combination of remote interaction and travel for in-person elements, such as joint symposia, trips for joint work, joint in-person research and projects.  

Chris Miller of the Fletcher School and his counterpart at MGIMO in Moscow teach DHP D282 (Contemporary Issues in U.S. Russian Relations) via Zoom, with a cohort of 15 students from each school. Students work together to prepare written and oral reports proposing solutions to issues in U.S.-Russian relations that would be acceptable to both parties, which are analyzed and debated in the connected classroom.




Kris Manjapra’s course, Bay of Bengal: Flows of Change, was taught together with BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh in a synchronous connected classroom. An interactive website and collaborative culminating project in which students worked in small groups to explore and develop video essays on a topic of choice.





Rana Abdul-Aziz, language coordinator for the Tufts Arabic program, oversees a collaboration with NaTakallam, a non-profit organization started by Tufts alum Aline Sara (LA '06). NaTakallam matches Syrian refugee conversation partners and tutors with Arabic language students via an online portal, bringing real-life conversations, language learning, and cultural exchange into the classroom.




Nina Gerassi-Navarro (Latin American Studies) and Colin Orians (Biology) teamed up for "Sustaining your drink: The culture and science of coffee, mate and wine," an interdisciplinary exploration of sustainability and the numerous layers of history, science, and culture intertwined in their development and production of these traditional drinks. Throughout the semester, Tufts students worked with researchers, producers, and students in Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica collaborated on their final project. 

  1. Seed funding. We can provide funds ranging from $1000-$5000 to support hiring a TA or for course materials. 
  2. Resource Library.  We will expand and make our curated library of resources, including sample syllabi and activities, widely available through CELT’s “Teaching@Tufts” website.
  3. Instructional and logistical support for faculty implementing GILD.  We will offer design and concept development support, as well as coaching and accompaniment, to faculty through CELT and Tufts Global Education.
  4. Support for Pilot Projects. We will conduct outreach among existing AS&E Global Education (Tufts Programs Abroad) faculty and study abroad partners. We will also reach out to faculty with international experience and relationships with international partners, including faculty who have previously integrated GILD modules or fully connected classrooms with international partners. 


The GILD/CELT Incubator provides a forum for faculty members to work through initial hurdles in starting a GILD project. The incubator’s goal is to help faculty transform a GILD idea into an experience for students. Faculty will meet over the course of a semester to share ideas with each other, but also learn how CELT, the Office of the Provost, and Global Education can help faculty design and implement a successful GILD experience. The goals of the Incubator are to:

  • Mentor and guide faculty members as they develop GILD programs
  • Present active and experiential strategies to engage all learners in a GILD experience
  • Build into curriculum mechanisms for active reflection on experience to deepen learning and growth.
  • Understand the pedagogy behind a successful GILD experience
  • Network with and share ideas with like-minded faculty

Faculty Proposal

We invite all Tufts faculty to submit proposals for GILD courses and our committee will review them on a rolling basis. 

Not ready to submit a proposal yet? Faculty can indicate their interest in GILD and start a conversation with the GILD committee by filling out an interest form

Proposals must include following:

  • Course Details: Course description and description of GILD elements
  • International Partner: Identify who will the international partner will be, or if you need help selecting a partner
  • Learning Goals: What are the intended learning goals for your course? How will the GILD element contribute to those outcomes, particularly developing global competencies and cross-cultural learning?
  • Estimated Budget: Please provide an estimate of course expenses.  teaching assistant, materials, etc. Our expectation is that GILD courses can be accomplished with a small budget.

If necessary, the supporting units will work with faculty to revise proposals. 

  • Does the course or activity include a sustained intercultural interactive experience with an international partner?
  • Does the proposal integrate authentic cooperative or collaborative work between Tufts students and the partner institution?
  • Are there clear learning objectives for the GILD component that are connected to the learning objectives of the course, research, or civic engagement program?
  • Is the project mutually beneficial for Tufts and the international partner?  Does the proposal articulate how the GILD focus, module, and activities meet the learning goals of the partner?
  • Does the proposed GILD course/module/program articulate an effective approach and activities to enhance students’ intercultural competence, such as preparation, training and/or reflection?
  • Is the GILD course, module or activity sustainable beyond the duration of the semester?
  • Is the course, module, or activity supported by and viable within departmental, school or programmatic frameworks?
  • Proposals that request faculty/instructor compensation will need to demonstrate how the GILD design and implementation process and products will contribute to the development of institutional resources and models for GILD at Tufts—such as tools and processes, guidance, model programs, or partnership relationships that can be used by others at Tufts seeking to integrate virtual international learning components into their curricular or programs. 
  • Interdisciplinary courses or modules will be encouraged, but not required.