The Odyssey Program

GA Specific Reflection Questions

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 international community?


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 world?


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 challenge?


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.