Cultural Blog

Task Objectives & Cultural Engagement Targets: 

  1. To use blogging as a means to reflect on study abroad experiences and as a tool for self-discovery (Diversity openness; Tolerance of ambiguity)
  2. To interact with the local community in order to deepen understanding of local perspectives on course topics or themes (Cultural engagement)

Task Description: 

Students maintain a blog throughout the duration of the course, posting entries at regular intervals and reflecting on the connections between local perspectives and course content.

Recommended Procedures: 

  1. Pre-departure. Introduce the concept of blogging and give students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the technology involved (for example, have students post a self-introduction combining text, images and video)
  2. Maintaining the blog. Throughout the program, have students create blog entries at regular intervals (for instance, once a week) reporting not only on their experiences at the host site, but also on the connection between those experiences and specific course content. To take full advantage of the online medium, all blog entries should be multi-media in nature (text, images and sounds).

Note:  To encourage interaction with the local community, students can be required to post evidence of their interactions (photographs, audio recordings, videos, etc.).  These community exchanges can have multiple targets or purposes.  However, they should always challenge students to explore how the host culture sees the U.S. (not just its citizens, but mainly its policies, business practices, global cultural footprint, or any other relevant theme related to course content).

  1. Reactions and assessment. To make the experience more interactive, students can be invited (or even required) to comment on the posting of other classmates (ideally, guided by a peer-review rubric that focuses students’ attention on key aspects of their classmate entries: depth of the reflections, effective multimedia use, creativity, etc.)
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