Border Crossings: How Academic, Social and Cultural Experiences Converge to Shape the International Education of German and Canadian Students on the Ontario-Baden-Wuerttemberg Exchange Program
Jung, Amy Magdalena
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Study abroad programs contribute significantly to a students academic, personal, and professional development; however, students are often unable to articulate how their international experiences translate into specific learning outcomes and demonstrate connections between their academic and nonacademic environments and experiences. This study drew on two strands of literature study abroad and student learning and retention in higher education - and interviewed 12 Canadian and German participants in the Ontario-Baden-Wrttemberg student exchange program. The study found that while reinforcing the importance of study abroad to students learning and development, students (I) distinguished between their academic, social, and cultural experiences; (II) recognized the interconnection of these experiences while abroad and at home; and (III) highlighted the importance of the classroom and academic institution as key sites to develop friendships, social networks, and a sense of belonging that ultimately enhanced students learning outcomes and experiences in the academic, social, and cultural contexts.