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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 13 Pursuant to Dolby, we have taken a qualitative and interpretive approach to this data. We are interested in how these students have negotiated, and/or renegotiated, their own national identity beyond the borders of the United States. However, we don’t purport to make broad generalizations about the impact of study abroad on national identity given the small sample size. Given the oppositional context, historical background, geographical proximity, and political influence of the United States and Cuba, we attempt to expand on Dolby’s research. Cuba also provides a different kind of experience for students in that it is a Spanish-speaking, developing country which continues to embrace communism. We asked students a range of questions about their experiences and challenges during their study abroad experience. Questions included: Why did you choose Cuba? How did your family members, friends, and teachers respond to your choice? What were the major differences you found between Cuba and the United States? What was it like to be an American in Cuba? How have your views about Cuba remained the same or changed? Has your opinion of the U.S. Trade Embargo changed? Have your opinions about immigration changed? Has your conception of what it means to be “American” changed? While we had a list of such questions, we took more of a semi-structured approach to the interviews, allowing students to interact freely with one another and ourselves as investigators, but then steMaryg them back to our research question. Oppositional Context Even in the midst of preparing for their study abroad trip, students were confronted with the oppositional relationship between the United States and Cuba. This was displayed by a complex, bureaucratic application process for a license, which acted as deterrence for Americans traveling to Cuba. Students attended two meetings before the trip, in which it became apparent for them that traveling to Cuba as a U.S. citizen was much different than any of 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 13
Pursuant to Dolby, we have taken a qualitative and interpretive approach to this
data. We are interested in how these students have negotiated, and/or renegotiated, their own
national identity beyond the borders of the United States. However, we don’t purport to make
broad generalizations about the impact of study abroad on national identity given the small
sample size. Given the oppositional context, historical background, geographical proximity, and
political influence of the United States and Cuba, we attempt to expand on Dolby’s research.
Cuba also provides a different kind of experience for students in that it is a Spanish-speaking,
developing country which continues to embrace communism. We asked students a range of
questions about their experiences and challenges during their study abroad experience.
Questions included: Why did you choose Cuba? How did your family members, friends, and
teachers respond to your choice? What were the major differences you found between Cuba and
the United States? What was it like to be an American in Cuba? How have your views about
Cuba remained the same or changed? Has your opinion of the U.S. Trade Embargo changed?
Have your opinions about immigration changed? Has your conception of what it means to be
“American” changed? While we had a list of such questions, we took more of a semi-structured
approach to the interviews, allowing students to interact freely with one another and ourselves as
investigators, but then steMaryg them back to our research question.
Oppositional Context
Even in the midst of preparing for their study abroad trip, students were
confronted with the oppositional relationship between the United States and Cuba. This was
displayed by a complex, bureaucratic application process for a license, which acted as deterrence
for Americans traveling to Cuba. Students attended two meetings before the trip, in which it
became apparent for them that traveling to Cuba as a U.S. citizen was much different than any of
CIRCULATION OF THIS PAPER IS NOT PERMITTED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE AUTHORS.


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