Your Colleague on Sabbatical – Sarah Melanson

Sarah Melanson Researches International Education in Spain

Sarah Melanson, professor of English for academic purposes, is currently on sabbatical in Santander, Spain, where she is researching international education.

When she first applied for her sabbatical, she was looking two years ahead, so formulating an exact plan was challenging. “I knew I wanted to do something to promote internationalization at Valencia,” Sarah said, “so I studied Valencia’s strategic plan for international education and thought about how I could best further the goals.”

To help narrow her interests, Sarah joined two of the Study Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE) subcommittees for international education: 1) internationalizing the curriculum, and 2) international student recruitment and engagement. Through working on these committees, Sarah focused her sabbatical goals.

“Over the past two years, through conversations and collaborations with interested colleagues, my focus has broadened to include research into other aspects of international education,” Sarah shared.

Her sabbatical goals include making connections (or strengthening existing connections) for study abroad opportunities and international internships, and recruitment. In addition, she plans to focus on the following areas of research:

  • Peace and justice programs
  • International internships
  • What internationalization looks like in other countries
  • Intercultural communication
  • Curriculum
  • Textbook affordability
  • The exchange experience

Sarah feels fortunate to be able to share the sabbatical experience with her son, Corin, who is also spending his semester in Santander in an exchange program through the University of Central Florida (UCF). He is studying civil engineering at the University of Cantabria.

“His experience as an exchange student will provide valuable information about exchange programs and study abroad that we can bring back to Valencia,” Sarah said. “He’s already told me that there is no bookstore at the university; students’ textbook cost is zero, so I’ve added that to my list of things to research!”

Sarah is sharing her sabbatical experience via a blog called Sarah on Sabbatical where she is posting updates on her goals and information about life in Spain. Feel free to comment on her blog or email her at, if you’re interested in learning more about her experience.

Read about other sabbatical experiences:


1 Comment

  • Rachel Allen said:

    I have enjoyed following Sarah's Facebook posts. What a great adventure for you, Sarah! We miss you. Enjoy.

    PMThu, 28 Feb 2013 16:54:48 +0000Thu, 28 Feb 2013 16:54:48 +0000pm13,4:54 pm

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