GA Specific Reflection Questions
1. To what extent does
life in __________ feel "foreign" and to what extent does it feel
"like home"? What observations or conclusions are you forming
about the relationship of America and _________ in the contemporary
2. What has been your experience of seeing
architectural, historical, and other cultural artifacts in situ (“in their
original place”) or in person? How is
seeing them in-country and in person different from studying them in
books? Does it give you a new
perspective on the country, the artifacts themselves, or your place in the
3. What relationships are you building
with people from your host country? How diverse are these relationships? What
are you learning from the people you come to know (be specific)?
4. (a)Are there any particular local
behaviors or practices that you have a hard time handling in a positive
way? If so, apply the advice shared at
the Away Orientation: DESCRIBE the
behavior or practice, then INTERPRET or reinterpret it, then EVALUATE it (D-I-E). Does following this advice help you better
understand the culture you are in? Does it open up new and helpful ways of
responding to the negative situations you are running into?
(b) Reflect again upon question #3.
5. Consider the concept of “hidden rules
of Americans” introduced at the Away Orientation. Has living abroad heightened your awareness
of standards, values, or practices commonly held in American society? Have these values been challenged or
reinforced by your immersion in another culture?
6. What has been your greatest challenge
living abroad and what have you learned about yourself from confronting this
7. What do you anticipate will be your
greatest challenge with “reverse culture shock” or reintegration and you return
to life in the U.S.? Why?
8. We sometimes feel—from our position of
privilege and ignorance—that everyone “wants to be an American.” Has your time
abroad changed this perspective? How?
9. Overall, how has your experience abroad affected your
attitudes or given you a new perspective on:
- Your host country and its cultures
- The United States or being American;
- What it means to be a "global citizen;”
- How you will relate stateside to those who are
different from you;
- Career or other plans you have for the future.