From Machu Picchu to Masaya Volcano: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Offering Study Abroad Courses on International Disasters and Crisis Communication

March 2019 (VOL. 37, NO. 1)

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As the nature of managing hazards and disasters grows increasingly complex, educating the next generation of emergency management practitioners and scholars requires innovative strategies. This article describes the utilization of a collaborative teaching approach when offering a study abroad course examining hazards, emergency management, and crisis communication in Central and South America. Co-taught crossdisciplinary courses provide opportunities for students to gain exposure to the different perspectives inherent in the study and management of hazards and disasters. This, coupled with the study abroad experience, offers students a unique viewpoint on how hazards, risks, and communication are managed and perceived in other countries. This paper highlights the recent research about benefits of co-teaching and study abroad courses, provides a description of our study abroad programs, and offers tips and suggestions for developing similar courses at other higher education institutions.