Students of Four Decades

David BachnerUlrich Zeutschel

Students of Four Decades

Participants’ Reflections on the Meaning and Impact
of an International Homestay Experience

2009,  184  Seiten,  E-Book (PDF),  19,90 €,  ISBN 978-3-8309-7082-8

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Do individuals change - and change for the better at that - when they study abroad? The research study discussed in this volume set out to examine the assumption, so prevalent among international educators, that there is a direct and positive relationship between student sojourn experiences in another country and the subsequent course of the students' lives.

Focusing specifically on former German and U.S. high school exchange participants, to test this assumption the authors explore such key questions as: What does "change" mean to the former participants, and how do they differentiate it over time with respect to their personhood, their careers, and their place in society? How do returnees actually value the various aspects of changes they identify - positively or negatively? How is change to be observed over time in concrete manifestations and behaviors? How do returnees feel they have contributed to supporting the typical rationale for exchange programs? How have the results of returnees' experiences been used by their own societies since the exchange? How do sojourn-caused changes identified by returnees differ by generations of students?

Combining a grounded theory approach with survey and interview data collected over time, the authors offer answers to these questions and discuss the practical implications of the findings for prospective exchange programs.

Pressestimmen

Eindrücklich und überzeugend illustriert die Studie von Bachner und Zeutschel indessen eine Feststellung, die heute wahrscheinlich ebenso richtig ist wie schon vor 50 Jahren: Substanzielle interkulturelle Austauscherfahrungen sind nicht nur eine Episode im (heute fast schon selbstverständlichen) Mobiliätskonsum junger Menschen, sondern sie graben sich als Identität stiftende kosmopolitische Orientierung in die Lebensgeschichte ein. Besonders empfohlen sei dieses Buch den politsch und pädagogisch Verantwortlichen im internationalen Schüler- und Jugendaustausch sowie Forscherinnen und Forschern mit methodisch-konzeptionellem Interesse an Herausforderungen der interkulturellen Austausch- und Wirkungsforschung.
Matthias Otten in: socialnet.de