Poster Title

International Education: Challenging Perceptions and Cognition through Experiential Learning

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Spanish

2nd Student Major

Communication Studies

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

KY House District #

45

KY Senate District #

12

Department

Department of Languages and Humanities

Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to explore and to challenge prior conceptions regarding foreign travel and study abroad programs in regards to international education programs and experiential learning. I researched not only the cognition of individuals through their higher education classes but also their perceptions regarding their experiences of education, culture, diversity, and lifestyle in comparison to their home universities. I explored their prior language abilities, comfort level in speaking a foreign language, their attitudes towards the country, education, and experience in general, their involvement in the community and in extracurriculars, their past experiences in other countries (have they studied abroad before and how does new experience compare), and has their time here helped them progress academically and socially. The results of this investigation are intended to be used in higher education research and design to further improve cultural enrichment, class structure, and overall quality of education in the United States and countries worldwide through the perceptions of collegiate individuals and academic achievement internationally. This investigation not only looks at the academic side of education but also the mental, emotional, and social side of education and their effects on overall success of a study abroad program and what specific activities truly benefit students and faculty the most. This research includes responses from students from over 13 different countries with their own perspectives and varying levels of the Spanish language. This investigation will also describe future possibilities for Honors programs and pedagogy.

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International Education: Challenging Perceptions and Cognition through Experiential Learning

The purpose of this investigation was to explore and to challenge prior conceptions regarding foreign travel and study abroad programs in regards to international education programs and experiential learning. I researched not only the cognition of individuals through their higher education classes but also their perceptions regarding their experiences of education, culture, diversity, and lifestyle in comparison to their home universities. I explored their prior language abilities, comfort level in speaking a foreign language, their attitudes towards the country, education, and experience in general, their involvement in the community and in extracurriculars, their past experiences in other countries (have they studied abroad before and how does new experience compare), and has their time here helped them progress academically and socially. The results of this investigation are intended to be used in higher education research and design to further improve cultural enrichment, class structure, and overall quality of education in the United States and countries worldwide through the perceptions of collegiate individuals and academic achievement internationally. This investigation not only looks at the academic side of education but also the mental, emotional, and social side of education and their effects on overall success of a study abroad program and what specific activities truly benefit students and faculty the most. This research includes responses from students from over 13 different countries with their own perspectives and varying levels of the Spanish language. This investigation will also describe future possibilities for Honors programs and pedagogy.