Publication Date

2010

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Richard Rodman

Abstract

One of the greatest challenges for a student today is how to live as a responsible citizen in a globalizing world. Today’s interconnected world cannot afford bystanders or passive participants. It demands confident, skilled citizens who will make responsible choices that take into consideration how we allocate resources and what impact our decisions will have on future generations (Bellamy & Weinberg, former and current CEO and president of World Learning, 2006).

SIT Study Abroad has not been immune to the global economic recession of recent years as students often cut study abroad out of their strained budgets. In an effort to boost enrollment numbers and entice students to consider study abroad a necessary investment in their futures as responsible global citizens, the organization chose to implement an innovative redesign for its program in France and remarket it through a unique partnership with Tulane University.

France: Language, Community, and Social Change is a semester-long intensive, interdisciplinary French language immersion program that focuses on France’s ethnic, religious, and regional differences, and explores the impact of immigration on French politics, economics, and arts. The program was redesigned to utilize opportunities for reciprocity as major sources of language acquisition and learning about the host culture. It combines traditional language and cultural study in the classroom with first-hand opportunities to interact with local French and immigrant communities, and experience contemporary social issues in real settings. By interacting with French scholars, community members, local organizations, and arts groups, students gain firsthand insight into the ways in which individuals and communities maintain separate cultural identities and a unified French nationality. The intention is that students will be pushed out of their comfort zones to have transformative experiences, and return home with greater French language, intercultural and critical thinking skills.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Other International and Area Studies | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Regional Sociology | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology of Culture | Tourism

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