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Move Over Medici!: Exploring the Impact of US Student Power in Florence Through Host Perspectives

Move Over Medici!: Exploring the Impact of US Student Power in Florence Through Host Perspectives
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Author(s): Julie M. Ficarra (SUNY Cortland, USA)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 16
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.ch004

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Abstract

This chapter draws attention to the disconnect between the goal of global learning through mutual cross-cultural exchange with local hosts and the absence of efforts to assess the impact of study abroad students on host communities. When host community impact is considered, it is typically in the context of service-learning in the Global South and ignores more popular and densely saturated sites in Europe. In contribution to filling this gap, this chapter presents data from a study conducted in Florence, Italy that sought to better understand the experience of intentional hosts and gauge what they see as the economic, cultural, educational, and environmental impacts of hosting large numbers of US students. In-depth interviews with 31 local faculty, administrators, and host families provide important insights for how international educators can design programming that mitigates negative impacts on host communities while creating opportunities for equitable, ethical, cross-cultural engagement.

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