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Academic Approach

CEA CAPA focuses on academic excellence in all that we do. Through our organization-wide student learning objectives, scaffolded slate of co-curricular and field-based activities, focus on faculty development and engagement, close collaboration with our Schools of Record, and approach to assessment and evaluation, we ensure that academics is at the center of our programs and student experience abroad.


To empower students to become thoughtful and thriving leaders through living and learning abroad.


Redefine learning through innovative, inclusive, and impactful global experiences.

Academic Excellence

CEA CAPA offers high-quality academic programs that integrate the host context into an active learning pedagogy. We achieve this through: 

  • Partnering with U.S. Schools of Record to ensure our course offerings meet the highest academic standards and expectations of academic departments.
  • Outlining clear learning objectives both within the formal curriculum and across all program components.
  • Hiring highly qualified onsite faculty, and investing in their ongoing training, research, and professional development. 
  • Using student feedback, partner reviews, and internal assessments to continually identify and implement improvements to our academic offerings.
  • Maintaining recognition and certification by the The Forum on Education Abroad's Quality Improvement Program (QUIP)

School of Record

The University of New Haven (UNH) serves as CEA CAPA’s School of Record, providing formal academic oversight in accordance with accrediting requirements and transcripting all CEA CAPA courses.

Evaluation & Assessment 

To ensure that we are delivering on our standards for academic and programmatic excellence, we employ a robust, well-rounded system of evaluation and assessment, including but not limited to:

  • Pre-departure, mid-term, and final program evaluations
  • Course evaluations
  • Faculty peer reviews
  • Faculty training and development opportunities
  • Schools of Record Academic Performance Reviews and Annual Reports
  • University site visits and Familiarization Trips
  • CEA CAPA Advisory Board oversight and reviews
  • QUIP Recognition by The Forum on Education Abroad

Student Program Evaluations

Obtaining student feedback through program evaluations provides CEA CAPA with valuable information used to evaluate each program, identify actionable improvements, and measure learning and development outcomes. By analyzing results both on a program-specific and cross-location basis, we can both focus on onsite specifics and chart and understand broader trends in our students’ needs, goals, and experiences.   

Academic Performance Reviews

All CEA CAPA Study Centers are evaluated through a comprehensive Academic Performance Review by our Schools of Record, which consists of an extensive self-study report and site visit. All centers are evaluated every seven years. 

Faculty Training & Development

Our faculty are selected both on the basis of expertise in their subject area and the quality of their teaching. All faculty receive extensive training as part of their onboarding process, and ongoing faculty development occurs each term with targeted workshops around key areas of pedagogical relevance. 

CEA CAPA is proud to have established a Global Faculty Advisory Council (GFAC) that provides leadership with strategic direction and feedback around curriculum development, training and development needs, and best practices in teaching and learning. 

We also have a dedicated Faculty Development Fund that supports faculty research, conference attendance, and publications. 


CEA CAPA Student Learning & Development Objectives (SLDOs)

SLDOs are meta-level learning objectives that transcend coursework and are infused across all elements of program delivery. They're the learning goals we promote across all sites, beyond specifics of course offerings, that address student learning holistically. 

Critical Thinking & Intellectual Curiosity 

Students learn to productively interrogate assumptions, to approach their experience with a spirit of curiosity, and to be open to different interpretations of what they're learning and observing around them. 

Content in Context 

Students can draw connections between the academic content of their experience and their context. They can situate their learning within local, regional, national, and global contexts, and connect them to one another. 

Navigating Differences 

Students learn to better identify, understand, and navigate social, economic, racial, ethnic, religious, and other differences - and similarities - between their home and host contexts, and within their student cohort. In all these areas, students can make skillful and nuanced comparisons and contrasts. 

Power & Equity 

Students can identify and analyze power structures within their host contexts and the ways power is used across national boundaries. Comparing and contrasting with the U.S. context, they can form complex arguments around the principles of justice and equity, identifying dominant and marginalized groups, and better understand how power impacts people within the host society and globally. 

Career & Professional Development 

Students develop skills and competencies that prepare them for professional advancement in a globally interdependent and diverse world. They learn to navigate, reflect upon, and articulate their experience studying abroad in a manner that fosters career readiness and positively shapes their future professional opportunities. 

Sustainability & Migration 

Students examine and engage their host context through the lens of sustainability. They consider factors shaping urban and rural spaces, how relationships with the environment contribute to national and regional discourses, and the impacts of their own actions. Through a sustainability lens, students discern elements of mobility and migration in their host context, identifying how these elements impact economics, politics, culture, and society on local and national levels. 



Experiential, Active, and Place-Based Learning

CEA CAPA acknowledges that the core premise of education abroad is taking students outside the classroom to learn. By intentionally leveraging experiential, active, and place-based pedagogies, both within the formal curriculum and the co-curriculum, CEA CAPA staff and faculty promote student learning through direct observation, participation, and reflection.  

Examples of our experiential, active, and place-based learning include (but are not limited to):  

  • Researching a social issue and working for change in CEA CAPA Community-Based Learning programs
  • Hands-on learning through our Global Internships
  • Getting into the host context through curricular and co-curricular activities designed to support our Student Learning & Development Objectives (SLDOs)
  • Attending guest lectures by local experts
  • Engaging in language exchanges with local students and community members
  • Volunteering opportunities

Academic Credit Overview

All courses taken at CEA CAPA Study Centers follow the standard U.S. credit hour ratio: 15 contact hours is equivalent to 1 semester credit. Courses offered at Study Centers typically meet for 45 contact hours, worth 3 U.S. academic credits. Courses offered at partner institutions vary depending on how credit is awarded. CEA CAPA provides credit conversions for courses taken at foreign partner institutions. 

Credit Transfer & Approval

The transfer of academic credit is at the discretion of the students’ home university. CEA CAPA helps by providing detailed syllabi with course descriptions, contact hours, and recommended credits. We've worked with more than 1,000 colleges and universities to successfully transfer study abroad credit to our students’ degree programs. 

We strongly recommend that students meet with advisors prior to departure to have course selections pre-approved.  We strongly recommend approving multiple alternate courses to allow for any cancellations to course enrollment and faculty availability. 

ECTS Credits

A number of CEA CAPA's European partner institutions issue credits using the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). ECTS incorporates “course units” that describe the student workload required to complete academic work and achieve learning outcomes. 

One ECTS credit corresponds to 25–30 hours of total student work; 60 credits represent one academic year worth of work, 30 credits represent a semester, and 20 credits represent a trimester. There’s not a universal formula for converting ECTS to U.S. credits, but many U.S. universities consider ECTS as a 2:1 ratio (2 ECTS credits = 1 U.S. credit). 

CEA CAPA provides syllabi and recommended credits for each course offered at our partner institutions. Ultimately, each university will determine how ECTS credits will transfer into a student's degree program.  


For information regarding grade reports, transcripts, and other relevant matters, please see section 2.5.20 of the CEA CAPA Education Abroad Participant Policies.  

Academic Accommodations

For information on academic accommodations while abroad, please review section 2.1.12 of the CEA CAPA Education Abroad Policies.  

CEA CAPA Study Centers

Our CEA CAPA Study Centers deliver academic coursework commensurate with what students would receive on a U.S. campus, but also enriched with content, faculty, field-based learning, and pedagogies that draw on the host context.  Students choose their courses from a diverse range of subjects that incorporate classroom- and place-based learning with a steadfast emphasis on career readiness through opportunities such as international internships, community-based learning, and volunteering. Study Center courses are transcripted by our Schools of Record.  

CEA CAPA Study Centers are centrally located in cities chosen for their cultural, political, economic, and historical significance. Though active engagement in their host context, guided by our Student Learning and Development Objectives (SLDOs), students learn to identify and understand the local, regional, and global influences in what they see around them, and to effectively articulate what they learn. Our Study Centers are managed by highly qualified, locally based staff, all trained in standards of best practice in education abroad, dedicated to supporting student learning and well-being, with a focus on helping students maximize their experience abroad and return with intercultural skills and global competencies that will set them up for success.  

CEA CAPA Partner Institutions

We strategically choose our local partner institutions to meet the diverse academic needs of students from a range of backgrounds and majors. We ensure academic quality by partnering with institutions that are formally recognized and/or accredited and that complement core CEA CAPA learning objectives and competencies. 

Students attend class alongside local or other international students, providing the opportunity to immerse themselves in student life. In addition, students can take full advantage of our partners’ on-campus resources, such as student clubs, sports, academic lectures, and co-curricular activities. Students choose from a range of courses in diverse subject areas, and at select institutions, students may access a partner institution’s full curriculum.


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