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ERIC Number: EJ878378
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
The View from the Veranda: Understanding Today's Colonial Student
Ogden, Anthony
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v15 p35-55 Fall-Win 2007-2008
Like the steady stream of colonial families of decades past traveling to their country's dominions abroad, contemporary education abroad students are similar passengers on a powerful steamship bound for lands of new sounds, sights and wonders. Although their studies may be challenging and demanding, students are exhilarated with thoughts of new opportunities that await them; after all, they have been told to expect an experience of a lifetime. They are yearning for excitement, to travel the world and to experience new things. Many are in search of new knowledge that will inform their studies, new skills that will enable them entry into desirable professions, and new attitudes that will challenge their limited perspectives of the world. Some will become competent speakers of foreign languages, develop close and meaningful ties with people from cultures other than their own and still others will pursue scholarly initiatives in search of new knowledge. However, there are others who are simply enjoying a modern Grand Tour and are not necessarily striving to be the brave explorer and inquisitive seeker of new cultural experiences. These students see themselves as transients in a world that has somehow afforded them this exceptional privilege, and for whom sitting on the colonial veranda, sipping "sangria", watching their host culture in action, is comfortable and natural. If education abroad is about helping students to learn new ways of thinking and to become more complex, interculturally competent individuals, it is not desirable for students to remain comfortably situated on the veranda. Education abroad programs should make it impossible for students to avoid direct and meaningful contact with the host culture, to learn with and from them, to explore new values, assumptions and beliefs. This article will seek to reexamine the student experience in education abroad today by employing an analogy derived from a post-colonial paradigm, thus describing contemporary students as "colonial students". Moreover, the extent to which the profession of education abroad is complicit in developing and perpetuating a "colonial system" will be demonstrated. Issues involved in the degree to which students are motivated toward pursuing meaningful intercultural learning and engagement will be presented and discussed in the context of working effectively with colonial students.
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A