Monday, January 28, 2019

Vol State Study Abroad Research Leads to Publication

Anne-Marie McKee from International Education is published in a new book about Study Abroad. It’s called “Study Abroad Opportunities for Community College Students and Strategies for Global Learning” and edited by Gregory F. Malveaux (Montgomery College, USA) and Rosalind Latiner Raby (California State University Northridge, USA)

Anne-Marie’s chapter focuses on the long-term results of the Ophthalmology Study Abroad/Service Learning project in Guatemala. The college has been participating in a mission trip to Guatemala with Hendersonville Rotary for ten years now. One part of the program brings eye exams to people struggling with poverty. If eye problems are found patients are then fitted with donated eyeglasses. The students can work with hundreds of people through the course of an exhausting, and yet often life changing, week. It’s a project that has had a huge impact not only in Guatemala but also for our students. They describe people in tears who can see for the first time in their lives. Those patients range from toddlers to the elderly. The study interviewed students from several years. Here are some excerpts from the findings, as written by Anne-Marie:

“As demonstrated in this study, study abroad does help develop CTE (Career and Technical Education) students’ cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal skills. Students participating in this study articulated how because of participating in study abroad, they were now more flexible, confident, and self-aware. The students remarked how while abroad, their worldviews were challenged and as a result, their ability to demonstrate leadership and tolerance for ambiguity developed.”

“International engagement following this study abroad experience was evident. While students may not have been able to travel extensively abroad due to job and financial responsibilities, participants expressed because of their international experience, they were more confident, more understanding with patients, and were more open-minded toward people who were different from themselves. Several students mentioned they were more altruistic since studying abroad and now participate in more volunteer activities than before they studied abroad.”

Thigpen Library will soon have a copy of the book. 

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