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ERIC Number: EJ1141338
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Curating Cartographies of Knowledge: Reading Institutional Study Abroad Portfolio as Text
Ficarra, Julie M.
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v29 n1 p1-14 Apr 2017
The overarching assumption within popular approaches to global learning is that it takes place either in classrooms at home or in the case of study abroad, in experiential learning environments overseas. Policies and programs are carefully crafted to respond to particular institutional goals and objectives towards internationalization. These objectives have increasingly aligned with broader neoliberal reforms within universities that focus on the student as a global consumer. This places those responsible for designing and implementing international programs in a precarious position, often having to straddle a widening divide between critical educator and travel agent. While efforts are made to create programs that allow students to engage cross-culturally, internationally, and in meaningful ways, there also exists immense pressure to do so in the shortest amount of time and for the least amount of money. As more study abroad offices become self-funded, or financially self-sustaining, this often means prioritizing programs that are the most attractive to the student "consumer" as opposed to the student "academic." This competition between study abroad as academic endeavor and study abroad as business is illustrated in the bifurcation of the study abroad literature. One strand of the literature focuses squarely on the student experience, which includes questions of students' motivation for studying abroad and/or what they have gained from the experience. These studies often emphasize students' personal growth and development, their increased cross-cultural competence and understanding, as well as their changing conception of global citizenship. The second category of study abroad literature focuses on "best practices" and policies for the implementation of study abroad programs. This includes work on student and faculty recruitment strategies, program design, monitoring and evaluation tools, safety and risk management as well as re-entry programming for newly returned study abroad participants. What is largely missing from both sets of literature is an exploration of the global learning that takes place before a study abroad program begins; what are students learning about the world and their place within it when they visit a study abroad office website, thumb through a promotional pamphlet or attend a program recruitment event? To the knowledge of the author there has been no explicit acknowledgement in the study abroad literature of the hidden curriculum that presents itself through what she refers to as institutional study abroad portfolios (ISAPs), that is, the compilation of study abroad programs that a university promotes to its students that take place in particular locations focusing on specific academic disciplines. In this paper the author will argue that in looking at ISAPs as a unit of analysis we can uncover political complexity that is often obfuscated both by more macro level policy analysis (i.e. internationalization strategy) as well as more micro-level program evaluation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Asia; Australia; New Zealand; Europe
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A