Sharing the Experience

Task Objectives & Cultural Engagement Targets: 

  1. To engage students in a creative process of cultural exploration (Diversity openness; Cultural engagement; Knowledge of the host site)
  2. To promote meaningful interactions with the local community (Cultural engagement)
  3. To expand the cultural impact of study abroad to the entire university community back home (Diversity openness)

Task Description: 

Based on field research, students create artifacts (photographs, paintings, sculptures, videos, etc.) to help the university community back home achieve a deeper understanding of the host site.

Recommended Procedures: 

  1. Pre-departure. Discuss with students the concept of ethnographic research and its methods (the video can be very helpful for this purpose).  Afterwards, present an ethnographic artifact relevant to the group or the subject matter of the course (for instance: the presentation, ask students to discuss in small groups the cultural accuracy, relevance and artistic/technical qualities of the artifact(s) observed.
  2. While abroad. Students apply the steps of ethnographic research to the understanding of a particular aspect of the host culture. Based on the insights gained through observation and interaction with the host site, students develop artifacts relevant to the subject matter of the course (photos, recordings, performances, artworks, video segments, etc.) to be shared with the university community upon return.
  3. Upon Return. Students submit their artifacts, along with a brief reflection paper outlining their research findings and the rationale for their artifacts. After teacher feedback is received, students prepare an event (art exhibit, video presentation, performance, etc.) for the university community.  This event should be framed as an opportunity to share the study abroad experience with those who were not able to participate, and as an chance to gain a deeper understanding of the global nature of specific subject matter.
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