There and Back Again: Perceived Long-Term Effects of a High School Immersion Abroad Experience
Author(s)Flom, Nora A.
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education
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AbstractThis qualitative phenomenological case study examined the perceptions of young adults regarding the effects of an approximately month-long immersion abroad experience in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, in which they participated when they were adolescents. School staff from Mexico who worked with these students were interviewed to help identify and articulate the context in which the adolescents studied and lived while in Mexico. Former sojourner participants recalled their memories of their attitudes and experiences before, during, immediately after, and long after the trip. Additionally, former sojourner participants were invited to share five photographic images they considered emblematic of the trip; their narrations of those images contributed to the data. Evidence indicated that school staff constructed a context heavily emphasizing the social environment in which students studied and lived. Evidence also indicated that former sojourner participants believe the trip, in conjunction with other experiences, contributed to their seeking other international experiences, pursuing international careers or careers that required intercultural skills, and establishing significant intercultural relationships.