Breaking out of the box

Student Learning

Cultural Introspection for students going abroad

Through guided story telling and cultural auto-biographies, by the end of the module/course / study abroad experience, students / participants will be able to:

  1. Identify their own cultural identity and the key ways in which this way of moving through the world may influence both: how they perceive and interact with others and how others interact with them – as this relates to intercultural exchanges / study abroad experiences
  2. Demonstrate an ability to think critically about how their cultural identity is shaped, both positively and negatively, situated in a historical context and through a social-justice lens, and the possible impact this may have on how they perceive / interact with others
  3. Identify the ways in which prior learning experiences have privileged / silenced some voices / epistemologies and the effects of this privilege / silence on interactions in the international exchange / study abroad context.
  4. Identify examples of their own unconscious bias, how these biases were formed and their possible effects
  5. Critically evaluate their own values and beliefs in relation to media / social representations of different cultural groups.
  6. Through engagement in story circles and personal reflection, community interaction and relationship building, reflect on what they have learnt during the course / module and how they will integrate this new knowledge into their identity/way of moving through the world, as they interact in international exchange / study abroad experiences.
Engaging in this course

For each module, learners are provided with a set of resources and activities. 

Those resources / activities identified as ‘essential’ are required in order to fully understand and engage in the approach adopted for this course. 

The resources and activities identified as optional are provided:

  • To enrich the process of learning
  • To ensure ideas and information is available in different formats, according to student need / preference

Of the optional resources provided, students are encouraged to engage with those that are most accessible / of interest, and also to explore other sources if they wish. 

We hope that students will use the basis of the modules as a template from which to develop their own personalized approach to learning.

In addition to the resources and activities provided, there are two formats for engagement activities:

  • Asynchronous engagement allows for learners to complete the activities in their own time and offers an opportunity to connect with other learners working through the modules in an offline format
  • Synchronous engagement allows for learners to attend ‘live scheduled’ sessions to connect directly with other learners working through the modules

The modules can be completed pre-, during and post, a study abroad / international exchange experience. At each of these 3 stages, learners will go through the same processes of reflection, during each iteration delving deeper. 

Learning about ourselves, our culture, our values and beliefs and how these shape the way we interact with diverse others is an iterative and ongoing process that requires ever deeper opportunities to reflect. By engaging multiple times with this process, we hope learners will come to a deeper sense of empathy for self and others.