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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 14 their previous experiences abroad. For Brian, the adventure of the trip lay in the “layers of bureaucracy” the trip organizer had to go through in order to attain license for the students. According to Lisa, “I never thought there wasn’t a country I could go to. If there was a country I wanted to vacation to, you could go there….It almost makes me feel more normal because the majority of the world doesn’t have the privileges that we have.” Brian asserted before the trip he always thought “how lucky we are to be born in America and have the right to travel to most countries.” But because of the travel ban between the two countries, they for the first time felt like the “rest of the world” that does not enjoy the privileges of unlimited world travel. But even though the process of securing a license was taxing for the professor in charge of the trip, Brian noted that he felt like a “typical American.” Instead of having to work through the “layers of bureaucracy” themselves, all he had to do was “sign up and write the check.” Nevertheless, they additionally recognized that their ability to travel to Cuba rested on their identities as not merely U.S. citizens, but as U.S. students, for whom an exception in the travel ban existed. These students realized that U.S. citizenship did not guarantee them the freedom to travel as easily or readily as they had previously thought. One of the main motivations for these students in choosing Cuba as their study abroad destination was, in fact, the novelty of traveling to a country that the average U.S. citizen could not. Many noted that this would be an opportunity to travel to Cuba legally, an opportunity denied to the majority of Americans. For Sue Ann, she was also attracted to the chance to study in a country that was “completely different from the U.S.” While some students admitted that their parents expressed fears about their studying abroad in regard to personal safety, they did not have the same conception of Cuba as did this earlier generation. What seemed like danger, or part of an “evil empire,” to their parents and teachers translated into 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 14
their previous experiences abroad. For Brian, the adventure of the trip lay in the “layers of
bureaucracy” the trip organizer had to go through in order to attain license for the students.
According to Lisa, “I never thought there wasn’t a country I could go to. If there was a country I
wanted to vacation to, you could go there….It almost makes me feel more normal because the
majority of the world doesn’t have the privileges that we have.” Brian asserted before the trip he
always thought “how lucky we are to be born in America and have the right to travel to most
countries.” But because of the travel ban between the two countries, they for the first time felt
like the “rest of the world” that does not enjoy the privileges of unlimited world travel. But
even though the process of securing a license was taxing for the professor in charge of the trip,
Brian noted that he felt like a “typical American.” Instead of having to work through the “layers
of bureaucracy” themselves, all he had to do was “sign up and write the check.” Nevertheless,
they additionally recognized that their ability to travel to Cuba rested on their identities as not
merely U.S. citizens, but as U.S. students, for whom an exception in the travel ban existed.
These students realized that U.S. citizenship did not guarantee them the freedom to travel as
easily or readily as they had previously thought.
One of the main motivations for these students in choosing Cuba as their study
abroad destination was, in fact, the novelty of traveling to a country that the average U.S. citizen
could not. Many noted that this would be an opportunity to travel to Cuba legally, an
opportunity denied to the majority of Americans. For Sue Ann, she was also attracted to the
chance to study in a country that was “completely different from the U.S.” While some students
admitted that their parents expressed fears about their studying abroad in regard to personal
safety, they did not have the same conception of Cuba as did this earlier generation. What
seemed like danger, or part of an “evil empire,” to their parents and teachers translated into
CIRCULATION OF THIS PAPER IS NOT PERMITTED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE AUTHORS.


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