Course-Embedded Education Abroad

Why Virtual Course-Embedded Education Abroad?

In this time of restricted international travel and physical distancing, virtual education abroad programming offers a flexible solution to enhance instruction and bring the world to the classroom of every student.  The Gateway embedded solution is an affordable, scalable model that provides global learning access to a broad diversity of students. Customized content and high impact programming is integrated into local course content to enhance and internationalize learning outcomes.  

The Result

Students work on real-world issues in small, moderated online teams – and learn experientially in an environment of intercultural exchange and growth.

Experiential Online Learning

All programs are led by subject matter experts experienced in online facilitation. A professional Gateway coordinator monitors and supports the program.  Cultural exposure and exchange are integral to the online Gateway student experience.

We provide cultural enrichment opportunities that enhance the international engagement we deliver, offering content, context and reflection. Engaging, curated sessions offer students the opportunity to learn more about the host country, explore their own cultural assumptions and work collaboratively across cultural boundaries.  Included in our programs are virtual city tours, online cultural excursions, introductory language lessons (when appropriate), guest lectures and an active exploration of intercultural dynamics.

How the Gateway Embedded Program Design Process Works

Gateway makes the planning and execution of embedded international offerings easy.  We work with colleges and universities to design student programs that both meet program requirements and engage students in meaningful, online, international experiences.  This is achieved in four basic steps:

Gateway works closely with faculty to ensure that programs target specific content, meet learning outcomes, comply with local requirements and are attractive to students.

We work with international partners to create robust, live, online offerings based on defined parameters and the spirit of the course.  All offerings encourage students to actively reflect on intercultural differences, language barriers and the dynamics of international, online collaboration.

Subject matter experts, real-world practitioners and skilled online facilitators ensure students are supported and challenged throughout the program.  Through lively, interactive sessions students broaden their horizons and learn valuable global skills.

Using a mix of feedback methods we measure impact, impressions, and student takeaways and we share this data with our clients.

Some of the Gateway Embedded Programs We Offer

The Gateway Embedded Partnership Model: Affordable Programs Designed For Administrative Ease

between University and Gateway is signed — a single, overarching partnership contract supplemented by per-course/program addenda and fee structures

with faculty member(s) and international partners

in cooperation with international experiential learning providers 
between University and Gateway is signed — a single, overarching partnership contract supplemented by per-course/program addenda and fee structures

of high-impact, embedded online program with final papers and presentations

issued to students completing the program

shared with stduents, faculty & administration

Flexible Financial Models

The Student

Students pay a modest additional course fee to the university upon registration for the Gateway embedded portion of their course, which, in turn, is paid to Gateway.

The University / College-Funded Model

Funding is provided by the academic unit (division, department or course budget).

The Mixed

Funds are sourced from both students and their home school and/or other sources

Program fees vary based on requirements, duration, and intensity.

Program Leaders

Heidi Thompson

Heidi is a process-oriented international businesswoman and etnrepreneur who has translated her 18-year experience aroad to become a student-centered inernational educator and coach.

Benjamin Lorch

Benjamin is an education start-up specialist and pioneer. Builder of schools and programs, he is Advisor in Residence at InnovationLabs, Berlin.

Amy Blume

Amy is an experienced education abroad leader who is solution-focused and analytical with an eye toward connecting people, managing projects, and bringing ideas to fruition. 

Let's Connect

If you would like to discuss Gateway Embedded with our team, we’ll be happy to schedule a conversation to go over your specific program needs.

Heidi Thomposon


Heidi Thompson is a process-oriented international businesswoman and entrepreneur who has translated her 18-year experience abroad to become a student-centered international educator and coach.

Heidi’s work focuses on the creation of data-informed experiential global business experiences and the integration of international cultural training into the undergraduate and MBA curricula. Heidi connects learners with real-world applications, creates opportunities for them to build their international network and elevate their international social media profile.  

Heidi earned her Master of Business Administration from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in the Flemish part of Belgium and her Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She is fluent in 5 languages: Czech, Dutch, English, French, Swedish. 

Benjamin Lorch


Benjamin Lorch is an international education specialist and consultant focused on innovation, partnerships and institutional growth.  Lorch grounded four schools in Berlin, Germany: two business schools, a campus for international exchange (CIEE) and a coding boot camp at ESMT Berlin Business School.

Lorch began his career working with The Smithsonian Institution to identify and archive early Internet innovations.  He later lead The Chicago Public Schools | University of Chicago Internet Project building capacity and leadership in 26 South Side Chicago public schools.  From 2007-2016 Benjamin lead The Council on International Educational Exchange Berlin where established the residency of NPR Berlin FM on the CIEE Berlin campus.  In 2016-2017 he grounded GISMA Business School Berlin.  Most recently Benjamin inaugurated the ESMT Berlin coding boot camp.

An audio enthusiast – music and storytelling – he is a podcast producer and an occasional content contributor to KCRW FM Berlin.

Benjamin holds a BA and an MA from The University of Chicago and served as a Robert Bosch Fellow working at the Germany Ministry of Education and Research Bonn (2006-2007).  He is a co-founder of the Association of American Study Abroad Programs in Germany and lives in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Amy Blume


Amy Bartnick Blume was a Butler University Chemistry major when she studied abroad at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. She pivoted from this initial degree to her international higher education career by making the most of happenstance from study abroad. Over her years in education abroad, Amy worked in student advising, academic affairs, institutional engagement, and recruitment at the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University (IFSA). 

Amy received her Master’s in Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management at Indiana University and during that time worked at the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment. In her positions at IFSA, Amy engaged and connected with hundreds of students and institutions around the world to build partnerships, promote new education abroad models, and match curricular needs. 

Traveling in the U.S. and to over 50 countries around the world, allows Amy the chance to constantly use and expand her intercultural learning. Amy has presented on appreciative advising, alumni engagement, and various topics in education abroad at NAFSA and Forum conferences. As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, Amy has supported efforts in the field by volunteering on committees and as a mentor for underrepresented students.