Plenary 2: The Impact of a Cultural Immersion Program on Student Perceptions of the Middle East: A Pilot Study
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AbstractIn order to be successful in their careers and in their broader lives, college graduates need to possess a greater understanding of the complex world in which they will live and be employed. This understanding can lead to the awareness of the importance of overcoming cultural difference to work together to address critical, universal needs. Cultural immersion experiences provide the most efficient means to this end. In this study, 9 college students are enrolled in a cultural immersion experience in Jordan. For a week, they let go of their preconceived notions about the Middle East and Islam, and discover the true nature of this society. Following the immersion experience, students completed a 10-question survey that will serve to identify if/how the experience influenced their worldview and how, if at all, this experience may influence their future decisions and/or actions. Implications for future cultural immersion experiences will be discussed.