Internationalization Models

Institutional Internationalization Profile: Chapman University

(A Case Study by Rebecca Pisano, Spring 2005)

Chapman University supports a variety of campus internationalization initiatives which include study abroad, international student recruitment and support, international curriculum and campus activities, and international research centers.  The following report outlines those endeavors that contribute to a broad range of international activities reflective of Chapman’s mission statement:  The mission of Chapman University is to provide personalized education of distinction that leads to inquiring, ethical and productive lives as global citizens.

Center for Global Education  

Study Abroad

Chapman University holds a distinguished history in education abroad.  The institution played an innovative role in the present-day Semester at Sea program, holding academic responsibility for its precursor, the World Campus Afloat program, from 1965-1975. 

The tradition of commitment to international education continues.  Today study abroad opportunities are available to a variety of countries through Chapman affiliated programs with offerings in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.  In the 2004-2005 academic year a record number of students studied abroad.  Students continue to pay home campus tuition and are permitted to use their financial aid while abroad, making overseas study an affordable reality for all Chapman students.

Faculty-led travel course programs are additionally offered during the Interterm and Summer sessions.  In 2005 faculty offered seven different course options in diverse locations such as London and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.  

The Center for Global Education hosts a Study Abroad Advisory Board made up of prominent local business leaders that guide future programming.

International Student Recruitment and Support

Chapman University was first authorized to admit international students in 1954. Since that time, over 1,650 international students from 82 countries have attended Chapman and are now part of their active alumni.

The International Student Services Office was established to serve the special needs of international students on the Chapman University campus.  A source of information and assistance, the office’s goal is to help to make the international students' experience at Chapman as productive and meaningful as possible.

In the 2004-2005 academic year, Chapman’s international students came from a total of 50 countries.  Approximately 65% of their international students are at the undergraduate level and 35% are graduate students.  Business and Film are the most popular courses of study.

International Curriculum

The World Cultures component of the Chapman general education plan requires that students fulfill nine credits from at least two disciplines, one of which must be at the upper division level.  World Cultures courses pertain to non-Western civilizations.

Chapman’s general education program also includes a foreign language requirement of two college-level courses in the same language.  Students can major and minor in French and Spanish, and create a personalized minor in German and Japanese.  Courses in Italian and Latin are additionally offered.

Several academic programs consist primarily of international content, including undergraduate majors in Peace Studies and European Studies.  The department of Political Science offers emphases in International Relations and Comparative Politics.  The School of Business and Economics has an International Business emphasis and the Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) program regularly takes students to China and Mexico as part of the degree requirement.  Additionally, internationally-oriented courses are prevalent in many departments throughout campus, such as the departments of Political Science, Sociology, Business, and History. 

Chapman’s faculty are also on the international forefront.  In 2004 a professor in the Department of Accounting was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Grant to teach in the Czech Republic.

Campus International Activities

The annual International Food Fair is sponsored by the International Student Services office and participated in by the campus as well as local community.  International food and music are provided representing many countries and ethnicities.  This popular event has been held for a number of years and takes place each October. 

Each fall the French Club, in collaboration with the Department of Languages and other organizations on campus such as the Associated Students and the Office of International Student Services, sponsors a multicultural evening of international poetry reading.  Participants read or perform a famous poem in its original language as well as the English translation.  These renditions are often accompanied by music, videos, photos, and dancers. Following the reading the public is invited to a feast of international foods.

Every semester students in the Spanish program are given the opportunity to see theater in Spanish offered by the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts in Los Angeles.  Trips are organized to see classical or modern plays in Spanish produced by the Foundation.  Some offerings in the past have included: La Celestina (Fernando de Rojas), Bodas de sangre, La casa de Bernarda Alba, and La zapatera prodigiosa. (García Lorca).  

The French Club promotes the study of French language and culture by speaking French outside of the classroom and getting hands-on experience with elements of French culture.  Popular events include French movie nights and Café Conversation.

Stammtisch offers the opportunity for the Chapman community to gather informally to speak or listen to German in a relaxed atmosphere in the student cafeteria each week during the lunch hour.  All language levels are welcome.  Led by two professors, the group provides a lively atmosphere where faculty, staff, and students can expand their conversation skills in German.

Other international clubs on campus include the International Student Club, the Asian Pacific Student Association, the Hindu Club, the International Culture Club, the South Asian Student Organization, and the Student Organization of Latinos, to name a few.

International Research Centers

The Barry and Phyllis Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education is a vital contributor to Chapman’s mission of preparing students for ethical lives as global citizens.  By teaching about the past—about the social, political, historical, and economic causes of genocide—the Center prepares students for the challenges of both the present and the future as they seek to make the words “never again” a reality.


The Walter Schmid Center for International Business, located at Chapman University and endowed by private enterprise, was founded in 1992 by Sir Eldon Griffiths.  The mission of the Schmid Center is to provide leadership in internationalizing business education in the Argyros School of Business and Economics, to educate and mentor students to assume leadership roles in global business, to provide a resource for Orange County business people to assess and act upon opportunities in the global marketplace, and to create and disseminate knowledge through research on the global economy.


Located within the Department of History, the Center for Cold War Studies advances and facilitates the study of the history of the Cold War Era.  Its broad aim includes supporting original historical research, fostering innovative as well as multidisciplinary inquiry, creating opportunities for engagement among members of the larger national and international scholarly community studying the history of the Cold War, and encouraging a wide public participation in the Center's varied programs.

Additional International Initiatives

Global Theme

Chapman hosts a cutting edge global theme each year.  A series of lectures are scheduled in accordance with each year’s theme, and faculty are encouraged to incorporate this theme into the curriculum when possible.  The theme for the 2005-2006 academic year is “Is Democracy a Viable Form of Government in the Non-Western World?”  Past themes have been “Superpower: United States Role and Responsibility for a Just and Sustainable World” and the “ Middle East.”