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This article examines the implications of study abroad specifically on those studying education. The article utilizes research to support its central focus of a personal narrative regarding the author’s experiences studying abroad in various countries. The countries that are examined in this article are the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, and Ireland. This piece delves into how study abroad has an impact on the education major specifically.
Beginning with examining the research on the topic of study abroad and how partaking in study abroad has impacted undergraduate students, this piece dives into lessons that can be learned from various study abroad experiences and how these translate toward providing a positive impact on the future teacher’s students.
While each particular study abroad accomplished by the author offered unique exposure to unfamiliar cultures and ultimately to a set of particular life lessons that hopefully will fundamentally affect the teaching techniques she will develop, the cumulative effect of multiple experiences has undoubtedly transformed the author into a more worldly, accepting, empathetic, understanding, and enlightened individual. These are qualities that we as a society should wholeheartedly encourage in our future educators. The accessibility of study abroads for undergraduates varies by program, but advocating for ANY non-domestic cultural exposure can easily result in a positive experience that will be reflected in an improved educational experience for future students. At a minimum, conclusions summarized in this article should incite critical self evaluation for our future educators.
Hesitation at the thought of studying abroad is not uncommon. This author experienced anxiety and outright fear prior to her first experience in Ireland (and to a lesser degree, on each subsequent journey). The benefits far outweigh the perceived risk, however. The chance to become involved in something that will influence the evolution of both one's personal psyche and professional identity is extraordinary. TAKE THE LEAP!
Rutherford, Katherine, "Worldwide Wonder: The Positive Impact of Academic Travel on the Education Major A Scholarly Personal Narrative" (2020). Honors Theses. 3299.
Honors Thesis-Open Access