Date of this Version
Rieckman, M. 2022. Γλύκοπικρος & Bittersweet: An Autoethnographic Approach to Studying Abroad in Greece. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The purpose of this study is to answer the question: How can reflection via an autoethnographic approach promote sought-after outcomes of a semester studying abroad? Through an anthropological lens, I completed field work, kept field notes, and wrote a reflexive blog to navigate the social processes of learning to belong in another place within the context of a multicultural environment of study abroad program with Erasmus students. Through autoethnography as a methodology and a text, I utilized linguistic analysis to identify key themes that represent my transformative experience. The personal, emotional, and intellectual growth I experienced was made transformative by double vision and long-term engagement with the autoethnographic text. In Part I, I introduce the research project at the center of this thesis. Following the first section, I include a review of scholarship on autoethnography, affect and reflexivity–three areas of focus that emerged as I aimed to understand my own learning through the study abroad experience. In the third section of my thesis, I summarize the methodology and explain my decisions in conducting the approaches to research and analysis. Following the discussion of my methodology are the findings of my autoethnography (Part IV) in which I identify themes of kinship, place & home, identity, language, and Erasmus culture. I conclude (in Part V) with a discussion of the results, placing my research into dialogue with some of the research on fostering learning through study abroad.