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Title:Student Reflections on Short-term Learning Abroad Experiences
Author(s):Hurley, Walter L.
Contributor(s):Sunderman, Judith
Abstract:The current research was undertaken to develop a better understanding of how students think about their study abroad experiences. What meaning do students attribute to their international experiences? How can the benefits of international study be more effectively incorporated in the classroom? Colleges and universities recognize the importance of providing educational opportunities that cultivate lasting skill sets applicable to international environments. Global interdependence and the mutuality of national self-interests have created new circumstances requiring international competence and the ability to appreciate other cultural perspectives. There is a danger that the press to instill international competencies in undergraduates may lead to institutional programming without a clear understanding of the nature, durability, or process through which international experiences are integrated into the academic objectives and real lives of students. To address these questions, an experimental course (ANSC 199WH) was developed as a mechanism for gathering qualitative data in the form of student journal entries. Thematic analysis validated the Dwyer and Peters (2004) Model of study abroad impacts and provided insights into the process through which Dwyer and Peters (2004) four (4) impacts were realized: academic commitment, global perspective, personal development, and career focus. Findings reveal emergent multicultural understanding as well as the texture, content, and context of student thinking. A more detailed conceptual model of how students process their international experiences may help institutions better integrate international experiences into the curriculum.
Issue Date:2008
Genre:Conference Poster
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-02-25

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