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ERIC Number: EJ991097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
The Baggage They Carry: Study Abroad and the Construction of "Europe" in the American Mind
Woolf, Michael
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v21 p289-309 Fall 2011
Western Europe has been constructed in the field of education abroad as a "traditional" location: in some sense or another that label is used to suggest that it has a kind of static or dormant significance. In reality, Western Europe is an enormously rich location for study abroad precisely because it is a fluid learning environment that contains and sustains multiple meanings and ambiguities. It is a location that has been represented and constructed by American culture in some key ways over time and what is represented is simultaneously true and untrue. Within that paradox resides a great learning opportunity. This article explores some of the ways in which Europe has been created and recreated in the American mind and relates those constructs to the limitations, opportunities, and dynamics that may be explored in education abroad. Those constructs represent in part the baggage that students bring with them. In this article, the structure will recreate the experience of students coming to Europe. The essay explores the baggage they carry; engagement with the European environment, and, finally, the process of return. In that structure, which mirrors the experience of the study abroad student, a partial but suggestive set of perspectives emerge that go further than defending the traditional and, instead, present a cogent set of rich realities that collectively create the case for Europe. (Contains 35 endnotes.)
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site: http://www.frontiersjournal.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Europe; United States