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Internationalizing the Curriculum: Study Abroad as a Tool for Redefining and Reconstructing National Identity in a Global Context
Unformatted Document Text:  France & Rogers 1 Internationalizing the Curriculum: Study Abroad as a Tool for Redefining and Reconstruction National Identity in a Global Context By: Hollis France and Kaylee Rogers College of Charleston In an increasingly interdependent world, American colleges and universities are recognizing the importance of preparing their students to confront the challenges of a globalized world by providing relevant course offerings. In an attempt to meet this goal and equip students for the twenty-first century and beyond, schools have engaged themselves in a myriad of study abroad programs. These programs, in keeping with many of these schools’ missions to internationalize the curriculum, are intended to encircle students with a more critical global awareness. Study abroad rises to this challenge, as posited by Ivan Illich (1968), because they encourage American students to travel abroad as learners rather than as cultural salespeople in a position of dominance. Hence these study abroad programs enhance the epistemic thrust of global contact. Study abroad is generally advertised to students as “the experience of a lifetime,” which “promotes cross-cultural understanding…broadens world view…and prepares you for the future” (Ohio State University in Dolby, 2004, p.150). Colleges and universities boast that “oversees study’s the most effective and dramatic experience you can have to broaden your international and intercultural awareness” (Indiana University in Dolby, 2004, p.150). In essence, these programs are sold as a promise to transform an individual’s personal identity, while simultaneously increasing their global literacy and competence. The foreign encounter is viewed as a life-changing experience in which one achieves a new sense of self-awareness against the backdrop of an unfamiliar environment. In other words, the encounter is slated as one that transforms “self.” This strategy has been a success as American students have also CIRCULATION OF THIS PAPER IS NOT PERMITTED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE AUTHORS.

Authors: France, Hollis. and Rogers, Kaylee.
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France & Rogers 1
Internationalizing the Curriculum: Study Abroad as a Tool for Redefining and
Reconstruction National Identity in a Global Context
By: Hollis France and Kaylee Rogers
College of Charleston
In an increasingly interdependent world, American colleges and universities are
recognizing the importance of preparing their students to confront the challenges of a globalized
world by providing relevant course offerings. In an attempt to meet this goal and equip students
for the twenty-first century and beyond, schools have engaged themselves in a myriad of study
abroad programs. These programs, in keeping with many of these schools’ missions to
internationalize the curriculum, are intended to encircle students with a more critical global
awareness. Study abroad rises to this challenge, as posited by Ivan Illich (1968), because they
encourage American students to travel abroad as learners rather than as cultural salespeople in a
position of dominance. Hence these study abroad programs enhance the epistemic thrust of
global contact.
Study abroad is generally advertised to students as “the experience of a lifetime,”
which “promotes cross-cultural understanding…broadens world view…and prepares you for the
future” (Ohio State University in Dolby, 2004, p.150). Colleges and universities boast that
“oversees study’s the most effective and dramatic experience you can have to broaden your
international and intercultural awareness” (Indiana University in Dolby, 2004, p.150). In
essence, these programs are sold as a promise to transform an individual’s personal identity,
while simultaneously increasing their global literacy and competence. The foreign encounter is
viewed as a life-changing experience in which one achieves a new sense of self-awareness
against the backdrop of an unfamiliar environment. In other words, the encounter is slated as
one that transforms “self.” This strategy has been a success as American students have also
CIRCULATION OF THIS PAPER IS NOT PERMITTED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE AUTHORS.


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