Learning in the World: Informal Learning in Study Abroad Programs (78597)

Session Information: International Education
Session Chair: Elena Jurasaite-O'Keefe

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 11:35
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 708
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The purpose of this study is to investigate how and what university students learn when they are not engaged in formal educational settings to propose suggestions on how to better align formal curriculum of study abroad programs with informal learning opportunities and build stronger international partnerships. A socio-cultural approach allowed to closely examine students’ experiences abroad outside their classrooms. Informal learning is theorized as an interactive web of meanings constructed by learners in the process of their interactions. The findings demonstrate that students’ agency played a key role in how they explored, learned, and internalized the knowledge during the unstructured time of their study abroad. The study illuminates ways in which students construct their learning in partnership with the host country through interactions with environments and people. Using a unique approach of making tacit knowledge explicit by creating an interactive web of participants’ voices, the paper highlights distinctive opportunities for informal learning that happen while studying abroad. The findings confirmed that students constructed their learning in partnership with the host country through interactions with environments and people. Interactions with new environments and people build partnerships through which learners abroad gain rich experiences and knowledge, which can spark action and lasting change. Developing their new understanding stimulated students’ reflective thinking. The process of “worlding” and reflexivity helped students realize how closely connected and dependent on each other people on the planet are, and how much each of us can learn from one another.

Elena Jurasaite-O'Keefe, St. John's University, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Elena Jurasaite-O'Keefe is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at St. John's University in United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00