Faculty Development Seminars

VCU Faculty Development Seminars strengthen the university's capacity for global impact by building interdisciplinary teams around critical world issues and regions.  The Seminar enables faculty to enrich the global dimensions of their teaching, research and community engagement through cultural immersion and connections with counterparts abroad.  The program leads a group of selected faculty to specific global partners for the purpose of exploring collaborative research and teaching possibilities. The global partners to be visited rotates each year.


Japan (2020)

VCU’s Global Education Office is partnering with the University of Richmond (UR) to accept applications for the 2020 International Faculty Seminar to Japan. Since 1989, the UR has offered an International Faculty Seminar (IFS), and since 2016, UR and VCU faculty have joined each other’s seminars, resulting in very positive partnerships. The 2020 IFS will be administered by UR, who will select one VCU participant from the applicants.

Full program information



Lebanon (2018)

The Global Education Office and the College of Humanities and Sciences announced Lebanon as the 2018 Faculty Development Seminar’s destination which focused on the rich research, teaching and service collaboration potential for students and faculty that emerge through closer acquaintance. Topics included armed conflict and the global refugee crisis and the role of NGOs in civil society. Priority for participation was given to faculty who demonstrated potential to incorporate seminar impact into their teaching, research and/or community engagement.

This year's seminar was a regional collaboration with the College of Humanities and Sciences and the VCU Office of Faculty Affairs, and was presented with support from the Humanities Research Center.

Program Components

Successful applicants participated in a spring semester pre-departure program which included preparatory readings, lectures, and discussions. The group then traveled to meet with university, governmental and community counterparts to explore and/or strengthen collaborations appropriate to the faculty member’s interests and discipline. 

Full program information


Mexico and Guatemala (2017)

The 2017 Faculty Development Seminar’s destination was Mexico and Guatemala and focused on the rich research, teaching and service collaboration potential for students and faculty that emerge through closer acquaintance. Topics included the causes and impacts of immigration, indigenous communities and cultures, and relevant partner institutions both in the Richmond area and at seminar destinations.

Full program information


China (2015)

Deans meeting with China educators during FDS

The China seminar began an initiative intended to increase the enrollment of Chinese students at VCU. A delegation of deans visited Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai for two weeks. This visit provided key decision makers with the opportunity to connect with their counterparts at various educational institutions throughout these cities.








South Africa (2014)

The South Africa seminar was offered in partnership with the Division of Community Engagement to prepare participants to expand their international academic experiences and cultivate their own teaching and research connections with counterparts abroad, as well as create a new course, add a new unit to an existing course, and/or broaden the scope of all courses. This seminar was held in conjunction with VCU International Strategic Partnership University, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durbin, South Africa.

Full program information

Faculty Development Seminar 2014 Final Report


FDS - Spain-Morocco

Spain & Morocco (2013)

In collaboration with our strategic international partner, the University of Córdoba, taking advantage of its unique location and expertise, participants in this seminar explored the links between Morocco and Spain on a variety of levels, including its rich cultural and historic heritage and the intersection of the "developing" and "developed" world.

GEO Faculty Development Seminar 2013 Final Report