Home Proceedings 2009 - San Juan, Puerto Rico Reflective Writing in Study Abroad Programs: Hunting a Story in South Africa
Reflective Writing in Study Abroad Programs: Hunting a Story in South Africa
Written by Ginger Larson, et al.   

Universities are challenged to effectively prepare students to enter a global workforceequipped with the knowledge and communication skills to perform in an interdependent world.Short-term study abroad programs have shown the highest increase in participants, but strategicmethods must be explored in order to make the most use of such little immersion time abroad.One such method is reflective writing. During a short-term study abroad course in South Africa,eight students kept reflective journals. This qualitative study used purposive sampling to gaingreater insight into the thinking and meaning-making students conducted while studying abroad.Research objectives examined students’ self-awareness in the global community, changes incultural paradigms, and desire to prescribe and become a part of solutions. Reflective writingproved to be a valuable educational tool to solidify learning and engage students in aninternational setting while permanently capturing student observations and emotions.

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