The allure of traveling to exotic places, learning about people, their language and how their lives were shaped differently than our own – these reasons and more attract students globally to explore the opportunities of living and studying abroad.
From my experience, living abroad as a young adult can be one of the first opportunities to see the world through a very different lens. The experience of trying to understand and communicate with a foreign language and adapt to a very different way of daily life can be both eye-opening and a shock to the system.
As an intercultural product development company we have had the unique opportunity to work with several organizations in the study abroad and student exchange industry. I’d like to point out two of them as organizations who not only facilitate the study abroad experience but also enrich the students’ opportunity to have powerfully positive study abroad learning experiences. Both CIEE and AFS International put significant effort into preparing students for their time abroad by teaching about the impact of culture, and how to interpret behavior by getting to what’s underneath – the values that are motivating the behavior.
Enjoy these two different but equally interesting case studies of how enhancing cultural understanding with a core process like Cultural Detective has been successful. I would love to hear your opinion and ideas that have worked for you in this field!