Title

Host culture perception of a study abroad program and its impact on the community

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo

Abstract

This research examines the perceptions of host country nationals regarding the purpose and impact on their community of the presence of international students who live in and study the host culture. Understanding the host perspective is supported by a post structural paradigm in which culture is identified as a product that undergoes changes based on choices of those who produce it. The assumption is that the hosts of a study abroad program function as cultural producers and are thus in a position to describe the impact upon the host culture of the cultural interface with international students. The research concludes that in a situation where the hosts understand and wish to promote their culture, history, political agendas, and national social project for the sake of further international understanding and friendship, the main impact of the program from the host point of view is the creation of an opportunity for the hosts to function professionally as cultural producers and promoters. If the validity of this conclusion varies from one host community to another, there may be implications for program development in the field of Study Abroad based on host understanding and engagement in the program purpose or host empowerment in participating in the articulation of culture.

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