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Broadening Student Horizons With International Experiences

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Report on an international study tour to Vietnam for final year Bachelor of Science(Agriculture) students.

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Broadening Student Horizons With International Experiences

  1. 1. Broadening student horizons with international experiences<br />Alison Southwell & Jason Condon<br />“The world was my University” Gandhi<br />“There is no longer a clear division between what is foreign and what is domestic. The world economy, the world environment, the world AIDS crisis, the world’s arms race – they affect us all” Bill Clinton, 1993.<br />
  2. 2. Overview:<br /><ul><li> 21 students & 2 lecturers (14 men, 9 women)
  3. 3. 95% rural/farming background
  4. 4. Around 25% had travelled internationally – none to a developing country
  5. 5. At least 3 students had never been on a plane before.</li></ul>Purpose<br />Where we went<br />What we saw<br />Survey results<br />Individual feedback<br />The value of international study experiences in Agricultural education and student development<br />
  6. 6. Aims/purpose of the trip…<br />Increase student knowledge of international agricultural systems (tropical systems)<br />Broaden students’ “global mindedness” or world views<br />Increase student confidence<br />Increase collegiality amongst students<br />Improve student experiences/course satisfaction (marketing spin-offs)<br />
  7. 7. Cần Thơ<br />Vung Tau<br />PhuQuoc<br />Ho Chi Minh City<br />Ca Mau<br />Where we went in Vietnam: The Mekong delta<br />
  8. 8. What we did (28th June – 12th July 2009)<br />
  9. 9. What we saw: Cần Thơ University<br />College of Agriculture, Can Tho University<br />
  10. 10.
  11. 11. Rice production<br /><ul><li>Acid sulfate soils</li></li></ul><li>
  12. 12. Dutch lady dairy company<br />
  13. 13. Recreation time…<br />
  14. 14. Survey outcomes<br />
  15. 15. Survey outcomes<br />
  16. 16. Individual feedback<br />
  17. 17. Individual feedback<br />“I am now aware of the struggles in agriculture in a developing country. I am happy to pay taxes to receive the benefits that we do in Australian Ag.”<br />This was an affordable and totally different culture to what we’re used to. – A Learning experience on so many levels.”<br />“This opened many people&apos;s eyes to a totally different style of living”<br />“This trip opened my eyes to a different world.”<br />“It was great to really get to know the other students and even the lecturers!”<br />“If you behave and know the rules, then nothing to worry about. Must be careful though.”<br />The number of students that would contemplate working overseas increased by 50%.<br />
  18. 18. Value of international study experiences in Agricultural education & student development<br />Younes & Asay (2003) state that there are both intentional and incidental learning that occurs on both conscious and unconscious levels during international study tours.<br />The study tour achieved all its intentional aims<br />Increase student knowledge of international agricultural systems (tropical systems)<br />Broaden students’ “global mindedness” or world views<br />Increase student confidence<br />Increase collegiality amongst students<br />Improve student experiences/course satisfaction (marketing spin-offs)<br />but also much incidental learning occurred<br />Younes, M. N. & Asay, S. M., (2003) The World as a Classroom: The Impact of International Study Experiences on College Students. College Teaching, 51<br />
  19. 19. Incidental learning outcomes<br />Increased awareness of other cultures made them evaluate their own cultural beliefs<br />Helped clarify career goals/professional aspirations<br />Better thinking skills<br />Multi-disciplinary integration<br />Deeper understanding of complexities & realities<br />Decision making<br />Experienced group dynamics<br />Negotiate their own personal needs<br />Tolerate opposing views<br />Manage difficult personalities<br />Personal growth/self discovery<br />Unearthed new personal insights<br />Gained new perspectives<br />Discovered ethnocentric beliefs<br />Realised their own competence<br />
  20. 20. Planning has begun for 2010…<br />

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