Publication Date

Fall 11-11-2012

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Bill Hoffa

Abstract

The Tandana Foundation is a small, non-profit organization that works with communities nestled in the Andes of northern Ecuador, providing service-learning opportunities for students and professionals in the Otavalo region. The Journey Home from Ecuador: A Reentry Guide for Tandana Foundation Volunteers (The Journey Home) is a self-directed guide that serves to prepare interns and volunteers with the Tandana Foundation (Tandana) in Ecuador for reentry after their work abroad with the organization. In addition, it introduces the concept of reverse culture shock and provides tools and resources for a successful transition home. Living in rural Ecuador generally between two months and one year, these volunteers currently have no such component available to them in Tandana’s departure curriculum.

Based on research and current literature, a reentry component is vital in international education programming. Additionally, a survey of 21 current and returned volunteers supported this need. Their responses confirmed content ideas, design elements, and potential access to helpful information as past or future returnees as they transition home from living abroad. This reentry curriculum will offer a multitude of options for returnees to use. The variety will seek to match and appeal to their preferred learning style, interest level, mode of expression, and accessibility. A key component will be training and follow up by Tandana staff as well as developing a strong support system among alumni of the programs, which builds upon informal structures already in place. Ultimately, this program seeks to foster the strength of relationship and network that exist while introducing an imperative piece of curriculum to Tandana’s volunteer training and programming.

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | International and Comparative Education | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies