How to Internationalize Your Education:
Building Global Competence

    global competence

Why Should You Internationalize Your Education?
  • The economic landscape of the world is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly global.
  • Those with cross-cultural and international experience will have a tremendous advantage in the workplace of the future.
  • It is imperative to become 'global ready' to compete in a demanding, constantly changing global economy which requires skills and competencies for the 21st century.

What is Global Competence?

Being Global Means...

  • A mindset about learning that appreciates and respects other cultural perspectives and norms -Open-minded; non-judgmental; accepts differences.
  • Experienced in multicultural environments either abroad or in your own country.
  • Adaptable and flexible in unfamiliar situations
  • International awareness, knowledge and understanding
  • Capacity for effective communication across cultural and linguistic boundaries

global competence
How Can You Develop Your Global Competence?


  • Study a foreign Language
    • A way to learn the culture
    • Can help create an intercultural and international perspective
  • Take electives related to a specific region or geographical area
    • Can provide a framework for understanding global issues

  • Enroll in courses that have an international focus
    • Many departments offer courses with substantial international content
    • Ask your academic advisor to assist you with course selection

  • Build international themes and interests into assisgments

  • Seek an internship (credit/non-credit) with an international focus

  • Global Studies Minor
    • Aim: To increase your global competency and awareness especially in relation to your study abroad experience and to use that experience to help further your future personal, academic and career-related goals.
    • Available to all students participating in a study abroad program earning AT LEAST 3 credits
    • Includes a certain amount of credits in a second language, Global Interdependency("G") courses, an "in-country" course via Blackboard and a Capstone seminar upon return to the US.

  • Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC)
    Contact: Languages Across the Curriculum, 607-777-2499 (
    • A curricular enrichment program that provides the opportunity to apply languages skills in courses outside of language departments in languages other than English.

Study Abroad

  • Become fully immersed in local culture, reflecting on similarities and differences between native cultural norms and host country.

  • Connect with alumni living in the host country to gain further insight into living and working as a US citizen abroad.

  • Explore opportunities to intern, volunteer or pursue other career-related activity to learn about your field in a global context."Nine Ways to Gain a Career Advantage from Studying Abroad" offers tips on steps to take before, during and after your experience abroad to ensure that your travels will contribute to the building of your global competencies.

Internationally Focused Co-Curricular Opportunities

International opportunities at Binghamton University are vast and varied. Find an activity that peaks your interests and join today! Some examples include:

English Conversation Pairs
Contact: ESL Program Office, LN 2412, 607-777-6725

    • Native English speaking students pair with English as a Second Language (ESL) students.
    • Commitment – one hour per week in any kind of setting (i.e. over a meal, coffee, walk, etc.) for the duration of the semester
    • ESL students are able to practice their English in a non-classroom environment while learning about American language and culture.
    • Native speakers gain a better insight into another culture from the perspective of a peer.
      How to Get Involved: Applications for participation are announced through B-Line and department list-serves at the beginning of every semester

ESL Native Speaking Assistant

    • Earn academic credit through the 4 credit ESL 391 course.
    • Assistants work closely with ESL students in the classroom, mostly through small group work, as well as converse and reflect with ESL instructors about teaching ESL.
    • ESL students benefit by having the opportunity to speak with native speakers, gather cultural information, and work on speaking and listening skills.
      How to Get Involved: Contact the ESL Program Office the semester before you wish to participate.

Language Resource Specialist (LRS)

    • Paid position supporting the LxC program. Weekly study group meetings led by each LRS begin in the 5th week of classes.
      How to Get Involved: Submit application available online at: the semester before you would like to be considered.

Attend a Coffee Hour or Study Abroad Table

    • Visit to find out the dates and times for La Table Française, Spanish Table, and Italian Coffee Hour.
    • Connect with international students and other globally-minded students, faculty and staff at the International Coffee Hour held the first Friday of every month. The coffee hour is co-sponsored by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services and a different University department or office each month. Refreshments are free.
    • Talk to students who have returned from abroad or those who are interested in going abroad at the Study Abroad Table. Contact: for information on dates and times.

Student Cultural Organizations

Attend Cultural Events on Campus

Get Involved with the Community

 Personal Activities

  • Read fiction or non-fiction about other countries and cultures.

  • Visit museums with international collections.

  • Read international newspapers.

  • Reading about current events will inform you about important issues in other countries as well as alternative views on global issues.

  • Explore the internet to learn about other countries or cultures.

  • Watch movies or travel videos from and about other countries.

  • Can offer insights into foreign cultures and languages.

Last Updated: 6/18/15