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A Sense of Place: Creating Spaces for Intercultural Learning in Study Abroad

A Sense of Place: Creating Spaces for Intercultural Learning in Study Abroad
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Author(s): Ann Warner-Ault (The College of New Jersey, USA), Isabel Maria Kentengian (The College of New Jersey, USA) and Jon W. Stauff (South Dakota State University, USA)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 21
Source title: People-Centered Approaches Toward the Internationalization of Higher Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Gabrielle Malfatti (University of Missouri, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3796-1.ch006

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Abstract

Popular study abroad locations present challenges for faculty seeking to provide opportunities for meaningful engagement with the host community. The authors describe how a medium-sized state college in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and the Universidad de Alcalá (UAH) partnered to develop a transformative semester-long study abroad program, promoting community engagement, language acquisition, and personal development. They describe how a resident faculty director can create spaces for intercultural learning in both traditional classrooms and off-campus sites through projects that develop an ethos of sustained engagement and deep reflections, thereby empowering students to immerse more deeply in their host community. Insights from Lave and Wenger's social learning community of practice model provide a novel way to frame study abroad praxis. The authors' experiences suggest that a study abroad community of practice, rather than serving to isolate members from the local community, can serve as a safe-space and catalyst for active engagement with it.

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