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High Impact Practices

The pursuit of excellence goes beyond the classroom

A Blugold’s pursuit of our tradition of excellence extends far beyond the four walls of a classroom. The venture leads students to participate in high-impact experiences — active learning practices that promote deep learning through engagement in research, internships, service-learning, intercultural immersions and study abroad. These experiences allow students to practice hands-on learning while doing something they are passionate about.

At UW-Eau Claire, we aim to have 100% of students participating in at least two high-impact learning practices by the time they graduate to make the most of their college experience. Transformational experiences at home and abroad prepare Blugolds to become citizens of the world. Your support can help students expand their worldview and discover their unique impact on our planet.

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Global learning and cultural immersion

UW-Eau Claire is committed to preparing students to live and work in the connected world. You can help us expand study abroad, service-learning and cultural immersion opportunities, as well as bring international students, scholars and performers to campus. By giving, you are actively helping to:

  • Expand knowledge, vision and perspective
  • Teach skills that can be applied anywhere in the world
  • Increase cultural awareness
  • Show students diverse career and life opportunities
  • Give students practice in adapting to new environments
  • Promote interregional and international research and creative endeavors
  • Expose students to peers and scholars from other regions and countries.


Each year, UW-Eau Claire students have the opportunity to spend their winter or spring break on a Civil Rights Pilgrimage in the South, visiting sites of historic importance to the U.S. civil rights movement. The video above captures students’ experiences in Selma, Alabama, where they spent time with Joanne Bland. Bland was just 11 years old when, on March 7, 1965, she joined civil rights marchers on what was to be a journey from Selma to Montgomery. However, the marchers were attacked and beaten by officers as they crossed Selma’s Edmund Pettis Bridge. The day has come to be called Bloody Sunday, and UW-Eau Claire students were in Selma just weeks before the nation would mark the 50th anniversary of that pivotal moment in the fight for civil rights. An updated student blog on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage can be found here.  

Five students accompanied Deborah Freund, associate lecturer of biology, on a research excursion in Cambodia to study the ecological effect of agrochemicals used in rice paddies. The project offered experience in anthropology, agriculture and in many different facets of biology, and could have a long-term impact on the country.

Students contributed to free speech and applied journalism skills in the small, formerly Communist Eastern European country of Moldova. They took the project from simply installing a public address system to a professional public forum and trusted source of information for the community. Students collaborated with a faculty member on her research about public perceptions of media during transitional times.

Each year, a cohort of nursing students spends six weeks in Miramar, Costa Rica, partaking in a course where students provide health-care services through rural medical clinics. A related course in health-care systems prepares students for the cultural, social, political, economic and environmental factors that influence the delivery of medical care in foreign lands.

My experience in kinesiology was irreplaceable. I was presented with opportunities to conduct research, train my own clients, and complete a 12-week internship — all of which provided memories and knowledge that put me ahead in my career and made my time at UW-Eau Claire some of the best years of my life!

Megan Kidd Kinesiology
Students on immersion trip in China

Finding inspiration in China

Katelyn Kannel's experience with faculty-student research in China opened her eyes to cultural differences even as she made new friends, and cemented her desire to become fluent in Chinese and pursue an international career.

See the impact of undergraduate research
Blugolds on Winterim immersion experience in Washington, D.C.

Promoting intercultural learning

A Winterim program that immerses Blugolds in Washington, D.C., area schools provides hands-on experiences designed to help future teachers gain cultural competencies.

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