What is a CIL Capstone Project?

November 21, 2019

What is a CIL Capstone Project?
    The CIL capstone project is a personal essay, where you reflect on what you have learned as you completed the various components of the Certificate (e.g., coursework, experiential learning, co-curricular activities, language learning and intercultural training).

In your capstone, you should demonstrate your achievement of the CIL learning outcomes:
• Knowledge of international and global issues and systems.
• Understanding of the interconnectedness of systems and of local and global issues.
• Knowledge of other countries, cultures, and understanding of one’s own culture as one worldview in a global context.
• Ability to apply one’s awareness and understanding of culture and language skills to communicate and interact with people of other cultures in local or international contexts.


What makes a good CIL Capstone Project?
In the best capstone projects, students analyze the full range of their experiences.


Here are some tips!

• Reflect on your personal experience
• Analyze your experiences. Tell us what you learned and how you’ve changed.
• Be specific, give examples and use lively language to illustrate your points.
• Consider the full range of activities (i.e. Orientation, intercultural experience, courses, language learning, co-curricular participation, intercultural communication training).
• Honor the uniqueness of your experiences. What are your CIL takeaways?


• Write an academic paper
• Merely describe your experiences. Tell us what you did.
• Use vague generalizations and opaque, hyperbolic language (i.e. wonderful, awesome, amazing).
• Focus on a single requirement (i.e., your abroad experience).
• Follow a formula or copy a model capstone we have provided.


I’m not sure what to write about. Any suggestions?
Some questions worth considering might be:
• What have I learned from completing the Certificate? What did I learn about myself? How have I changed?
• What is my biggest takeaway? What was the highlight of the Certificate for me?
• Why was that experience/learning so powerful?
• What most surprised me about _______________? (Fill in the blank with studying abroad, learning another language, exploring global issues and/or interacting with different cultures).
• In retrospect, why was that surprising? Has this program answered old questions? If so, how so?
• Has it raised new ones? If so, what are the burning questions that I’m left with?


Are there alternative formats for the Capstone Project?
While most students choose to do a written reflection, schools have accepted capstone projects in a variety of formats, from PowerPoint presentations to posters to poems. Students who submit a non-traditional capstone project are usually required to submit a 500-700 word explanation of their project.


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