Challenging and Supporting Students to Reach Their Study Abroad Goals within the Reality of Their In...
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Challenging and Supporting Students to Reach Their Study Abroad Goals within the Reality of Their International Experience. Eric Leinen, Learning Abroad Center Emelee Volden, Learning Abroad Center. Session Overview and Rationale. Who are we? Who are our students?

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Eric leinen learning abroad center emelee volden learning abroad center

Challenging and Supporting Students to Reach Their Study Abroad Goals within the Reality of Their International Experience

Eric Leinen, Learning Abroad Center

Emelee Volden, Learning Abroad Center


Session overview and rationale

Session Overview and Rationale

  • Who are we? Who are our students?

  • What are students’ goals and expectations going into their study abroad experience?

  • Why is goal setting important?

  • Where does goal setting take place?

  • When do we talk about goal setting?

  • Discussion – what can advisers do? What are you already doing? How can a stronger connection be made between advising offices and the LAC?


Goals setting program selection

Goals Setting & Program Selection


Eric leinen learning abroad center emelee volden learning abroad center

What would you like the program to include? - Pre-departure or re-entry orientation -On-site support and services -Visa assistance -Language training -Organized travel opportunities

What is your financial situation? -Program fees charged by organizations-Additional costs such as airfare and international health insurance-Financial aid-Scholarships to pay for your experience

Can the experience benefit you academically? -Major/minor course credit-Liberal Education credit-Language credit-Directed study, research opportunities, or meeting a class service learning requirement

Goals Setting & Program Selection

Goal Setting Before you begin researching program, it is important to form goals for this type of experience. Knowing what you hope to get out of your experience will help identifying a suitable program much easier.

  • Questions to ask yourself

  • What are your goals for this opportunity? -What do you hope to gain from the experience?-How will the experience relate to your academic, career, and personal goals?

  • Where do you want to go?-Rural or urban area-Do you have the necessary language skills?-Airfare costs and cost of living-Political stability of destination

  • How much time would you like to spend there? -Consider the length of available programs-Depth of cultural immersion-Your available finances-School or work obligations and family and friends back home.


Goals in the pre departure process

Goals in the Pre-Departure Process


Eric leinen learning abroad center emelee volden learning abroad center

Dear….

  • I would like to be able to travel to nearby cities and countries to broaden my experience from both an architectural and cultural standpoint.

  • I want to have the opportunity to open my mind to new perspectives.

  • I want to have an experience that is all my own

  • I am looking forward to being completely independent while immersing myself in another culture and lifestyle.

  • I plan to make the most of my trip to Europe and visit lots of different countries

  • I want to speak as much Italian as possible, the ladies will love it!


Closing the gap

Closing the Gap


Disconnect goals expectations realities

Disconnect: Goals, Expectations & Realities

goal setting

From Challenging the Lens (L. Black, M. Johnson, B. Rink)


5 principles of goal setting

5 Principles of Goal Setting

  • Specific – Who? What? Where? When? Why? Which?

  • Measurable - Concrete criteria to determine progress

  • Attainable - Figure out ways to succeed

  • Realistic - An objective that is willing and able to work

  • Timely – When will this be accomplished?


Dimensions of goals

Dimensions of Goals

  • Goals have 2 characteristics

    • Content: the object being attempted

      • External: relationships, language/knowledge acquisition, travel experiences, etc.

      • Internal/Psychological: self efficacy, confidence, independence, etc.

    • Intensity: factors of the goal setting process

      • Effort required to create the goal

      • Degree of commitment

      • Importance of the goal

(Locke, E. & Latham, G., 1990)


Input output statements

Input & Output Statements

  • Output Statements

  • Set a measurable standard: “I’d like to make at least one close friend from the host culture.” It should be written so that when they ask themselves later whether they achieved the goal, they will be able to say yes or no clearly.

  • Consider how a student will know they achieved it (e.g.what do they consider a "close" friend?).

  • Input Statements

  • Describe what the student wants to do, or what they hope will happen, rather than a concrete goal.

  • An Input statement would be, “I’m looking forward to meeting new people."


Pre departure goals exercise

Pre-departure Goals Exercise

  • What do you hope to accomplish overseas (two or three general goals)?

  • What specific actions will you take to achieve your goals?

  • What are some challenges that might prevent you from completing your goals, and how will you overcome those challenges?

  • Name one stereotype you have about the people / culture you will be joining. Why do you have that stereotype?

  • Name one stereotype you think people in your host culture have about Americans. Why do you think they have that stereotype?


Goals influence outcomes

Goals Influence Outcomes

Difficult tasks = higher level of achievement

Performance

Goal Difficulty Function

Goal Difficulty

(Locke, E. & Latham, G., 1990)


How goals relate to theory

How Goals Relate to Theory

Baxter Magolda’s Reflection Model

Contextual

Knowing

Knowledge is contextual based on supporting evidence

Absolute Knowing

Knowledge is certain and held by authority

Transitional Knowing

Some knowledge is uncertain and fluid

Independent Knowing

Independent knowledge and thought


How goals relate to theory1

How Goals Relate to Theory

Sanford: Challenge and Support


How goals relate to theory2

How Goals Relate to Theory

  • Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development

  • Developing Competence

  • Managing Emotions

  • Moving through Autonomy towards Interdependence

  • Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships

  • Establishing Identity

  • Developing Purpose

  • Developing Integrity


Relevant research

  • Pascarella & Terezini: Students with stated goals achieve more than students without specific goals. Students who exert effort and time towards their goals achieve more than students who don't.

  • Mistretta: The personal benefits of study abroad (self-efficacy, higher levels of independence, self-confidence, ability and willingness to handle challenges) do not magically happen; facilitation by home advisor(s) and on-site staff helps students achieve more.

  • Kitsanta: Students' goals before a study abroad experience directly influence the outcomes of that experience.

Relevant Research

  • Kitsanta: Students' goals before a study abroad experience directly influence the outcomes of that experience.

  • Mistretta: The personal benefits of study abroad (self-efficacy, higher levels of independence, self-confidence, ability and willingness to handle challenges) do not magically happen; facilitation by home advisor(s) and on-site staff helps students achieve more.

  • Pascarella & Terezini: Students with stated goals achieve more than students without specific goals. Students who exert effort and time towards their goals achieve more than students who don't.

  • Williams: Having an intentional approach to learning outcomes and goals can help students achieve and articulate those goals. 


Challenge and support abroad

Challenge and Support Abroad

  • How are in country directors and faculty challenging and supporting students to reach their goals?

    • Goals: from application to arrival

    • Disconnect: goals, expectations, and realities

    • Closing the gap

    • Vision Plan activity


Discussion

Discussion

  • Do you ask students about their expectations and/or goals?

  • What are they? What do you see or hear as advisers?

  • How are offices/advisers engaging students to reflect upon these things?


References

References

  • Kitsantis, A. (2004). Studying Abroad: The Role of College Students’ Goals on the Development of Cross-Cultural Skills and Global Understanding. College Student Journal

  • Locke, E. A. & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.

  • Locke, E. A. & Latham, G. P. (1990). A Theory of Goal Setting & Task Performance. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

  • Mind Tools: Locke’s Goal Setting Theory: Understanding SMART Goal Setting. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_87.htm

  • Mistretta, W. (2008) Life Enhancing: An Exploration of the Long-Term Effects of Study Abroad.

  • Pascarella, E.T. & Terenzini, P.T. (2005). How College Affects Students, Volume 2, A Third Decade of Research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Williams, T.R. (2009).  The Reflective Model of Intercultural Competency: A Multidimensional, Qualitative Approach to Study Abroad Assessment.  Frontiers, Fall 2009, p. 289-305. 


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