Exploring the cross-cultural experiences of college students with diverse backgrounds performing international service-learning in Myanmar

Ruo Lan Liu, Hsin hua Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: In view of the growing globalization, volunteer service organizations, local universities, colleges, and student groups have begun extending their service programs from Taiwan to other countries. This study employs a self-organized, self-funded group of university students participating in international service-learning as its subject, and explores the service experience and the effectiveness of learning. The services they provided consisted of teaching guidance, community development and raising money for building nursery school and field-work. Aims: The purpose of this study was to investigate the cross-cultural experiences of participants and compared the differences between the Taiwan students and overseas Chinese students from Myanmar who were returning to their homeland. Research method: A qualitative method, using in-depth interview was adopted to conduct this research. Six college students were interviewed, including three Taiwan students and three overseas Chinese students from Myanmar. Conclusion: The most important feature of the Seeing Home Again Service Team is the mutual cooperation between Taiwanese students and overseas Chinese students from Myanmar. The intercultural experience of participating in an international service-learning enabled the Taiwanese university students to experience the following forms of growth: personal experience with a different view of the world, growing understanding and appreciation of a different culture, awareness of one's own strengths, finding life goals for the future, challenging past thinking habits. The overseas Chinese students from Myanmar who had come to Taiwan to study underwent the following changes from their intercultural experience of serving in their homeland: increased possible career choices, reflections induced by the field survey and a new understanding of their homeland, alone with an increased interaction with Taiwanese students.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Horizons in Education
Volume59
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct 1

Keywords

  • College student
  • Cross-cultural experience
  • International service-learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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