Project Perseverance and Journaling

Toward Creating a Culture of Engagement during Study Abroad

Authored by: R. Kirk Belnap , Jennifer Bown , Thomas Bown , Chantelle Fitting , Alyssa White

The Routledge Handbook of Study Abroad Research and Practice

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138192393
eBook ISBN: 9781315639970
Adobe ISBN:


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Study abroad (SA) is often a time of considerable personal growth. What most students fail to appreciate as they prepare to travel is that this growth is typically the result of overcoming significant challenges. The combination of culture shock and unrealistic expectations all too often leads students to forget their lofty goals. Given that interpersonal communication is inextricably linked with one’s sense of identity and well-being (Norton, 2000), language learning and use, especially in intensive SA contexts, can be particularly bruising to one’s sense of self-worth (Pellegrino Aveni, 2005). As a result, many fail to fully embrace their in-country learning opportunities and retreat into “home cultural islands,” eating, socializing, and sightseeing with fellow students (Wilkinson, 1998). A good deal of recent research points to the need and value of interventions to help students make more of their intensive SA experiences (Trentman, 2012; Vande Berg, Connor-Linton, & Paige, 2009).

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