Date of this Version
From Internationalizing Honors, ed. Kim Klein and Mary Kay Mulvaney (Lincoln, NE: National Collegiate Honors Council, 2020)
Advocates of study abroad have emphasized that semester- and year-long programs offer greater opportunities than short-term programs for students to enhance their personal, academic, and professional development (Dwyer). But can carefully constructed short-term study abroad experiences, which are increasingly popular choices for undergraduates, have similar effects? One study suggests they can achieve important outcomes, such as encouraging tolerance for ambiguity, appreciation for diversity, and openness to experience (Shadowen et al.). Another study shows that even shortterm exposure to other cultures can enhance creativity (Leung et al.), and a third demonstrates that creative problem solving was improved by cultural study in a process independent of the experience of living abroad, suggesting that studying a culture in addition to visiting it can have a similar effect (Cho and Morris). One mechanism that seems to cause this change is the ability to notice cultural collisions and examine the logic of multiple cultures simultaneously (Leung et al.). Honors programs and colleges, which traditionally have featured interdisciplinary teaching and reflective pedagogies, are particularly well-positioned to offer programs that utilize these insights. In this chapter we describe the evolution of a partnership between the honors programs at the University of North Florida (UNF) and Deree—The American College of Greece (Deree)—that employs this research in its design. What began as a small summer study abroad program for American students in Greece has become a thriving cross-cultural experience that has positively impacted both student populations and both campuses.
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