This qualitative study explored the experiences of African American collegiate women during a service learning program to the non-traditional study abroad location of Indonesia. The Integrated Model of College Choice, Human Capital Theory, and Experiential Learning Theory formulated the conceptual model and theoretical framework undergirding this research endeavor. The literature review comprised a discussion of non-traditional study abroad locations, study abroad trends of underrepresented groups, navigation of the study abroad decision process, and service learning as a study abroad option. Four research questions explored participants’ descriptions of the experience, social and cultural challenges encountered, changes and learning outcomes achieved, and recommendations for improvement. The findings from individual interviews, a focus group, and a document review yielded four emergent themes, including the development of transnational competence, personal growth and transformation, service learning programmatic considerations, and diversity perspectives.
Conclusions of this study indicated that transnational competence was developed by interacting and communicating through a language barrier and gaining exposure to different social and cultural norms, living conditions, religious beliefs, and educational system. Adaptability, flexibility, empathy, respect, and appreciation were achieved learning outcomes and contributed to the development of a global skill set helping students navigate cross-cultural dynamics.
Students’ articulation of preparedness, a broadened worldview, and the desire for future international endeavors demonstrated that a short-term service learning study abroad opportunity yielded transnational competence. Students’ experiences of diversity abroad highlighted the relative absence of African American collegiate women from the study abroad landscape in a non-traditional location. The higher education apparatus has a role in reversing the trend of low African American college student participation in study abroad by addressing programmatic considerations, including the provision of more information, improved program planning, and the availability of financing. Creating an institutional culture in which international education is a strategic priority, expectation, and norm can develop students’ transnational competence and positions African American students more competitively for academic and professional success in a globalized world.
|Advisor:||Holmes, Barbara D.|
|Commitee:||Hall, Chevelle, Johnson, Stephanie, Livingston, Aaron|
|School Location:||United States -- Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Asian Studies, Educational leadership, School administration, Higher education|
|Keywords:||African Americans, Indonesia, Learning outcomes, Non-traditional study abroad, Service learning, Women|
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