Bethel Launches Intercultural Engagement Endorsement

Bethel’s new intercultural engagement endorsement, which can be added to any major, helps students build their abilities to communicate and collaborate across cultures.

By Cherie Suonvieri '15, GS'21, content specialist

July 15, 2022 | 10:30 a.m.

Bethel University intercultural engagement endorsement

Bethel’s new intercultural engagement endorsement includes a semester off campus, relevant coursework, and involvement in extracurricular activities and events.

As the world grows more interconnected, the ability to interact, communicate, and collaborate with people across cultures becomes more essential—and Bethel’s new intercultural engagement endorsement was designed to help students build these skills. Students who complete the endorsement will learn how to engage in meaningful interactions with people of different backgrounds, grow in their appreciation for different perspectives, and come to understand how being globally engaged can prepare them for their careers.  

A key element of the endorsement, which can be added to any major, is a semester spent studying off campus, either internationally or in a Bethel-approved domestic program. More than half of Bethel students study abroad before they graduate. Adding the intercultural engagement endorsement will help ensure the credits students earn studying off campus will count as part of their coursework eligible for financial aid.

After studying abroad, students often return with new friends, familiarity with other languages, and a variety of relevant and valuable skills. “Studying abroad allows students to get out of their comfort zone and experience a different way of life,” says Virginija Wilcox, associate dean of international and off-campus programs. “This has tremendous potential to help them develop many transferable skills like adaptability, resilience, self-awareness, perseverance, and confidence.”  

In addition to the semester spent off campus, students who add the intercultural engagement endorsement will experience pre-departure and re-entry workshops, take several relevant courses, participate in United Cultures of Bethel, and attend educational experiences on and off campus.

“Bethel places a high value on active engagement with, and appreciation of, diverse cultures, whether within the United States or in other parts of the world,” says Barrett Fisher, dean of academic programs. “The intercultural engagement endorsement is an innovative curricular element that uniquely expresses and promotes that value.”

Expand your horizons.

Bethel’s intercultural engagement endorsement combines experiences, courses, and activities to help you develop an awareness of your own cultural beliefs, behaviors, and values—and you'll be equipped to understand and appreciate those characteristics in others as well.

Learn more