Lexia's programs are located in dynamic urban centers, with an emphasis on student engagement and personalized learning. This is achieved through active, reflective learning with small, individualized classes, and dedicated on-site directors and staff. This personal approach and the independent academic research project distinguish Lexia Study Abroad Programs from larger more traditional programs.
The Lexia approach to study abroad begins with a commitment to facilitating students’ full participation in the daily life and work of a community. This is achieved through a required language course and Area Studies Seminar, both of which introduce students to the ideas and institutions of a particular country. Cultural engagement culminates in active independent field research projects. Students take a Research Methods Seminar that introduces them to methods for engaging and investigating local culture.
The research project offers students an opportunity to deeply examine a particular aspect of culture in the host country. The project can be on any topic from among the disciplines of the social sciences, humanities, fine arts and physical sciences. Students are encouraged to avoid broad subjects in favor of those with a more narrow and manageable focus. The research project allows students to demonstrate their unique strengths and develop practical skills. For Lexia students this includes the ability to work independently in a different culture, manage a project from conception to completion, and think critically, all qualities valued in today’s competitive professional environment.
The process of choosing a topic begins upon acceptance, when Lexia asks each student to submit a preliminary topic proposal, which is also approved by a home institution faculty advisor. Senior Lexia staff members review each proposal to determine its feasibility within the framework of the program and recommend revisions if necessary. Some students may have a clear and specific topic from the beginning; others may indicate a general area of interest and select a concrete topic after doing some initial exploration in the Research Methods Seminar. During the course of the Field Research Project, students draw on the fieldwork skills and knowledge gained in the Research Methods Seminar and work closely with the Resident Director and/or faculty advisor to develop a coherent research project that demonstrates and reflects the depth of their cultural experience.
"The intimacy of a small program such as Lexia allowed for close relationships to be made
among the students, but it also encouraged us to explore the city and meet people by ourselves."