Name: Carolyn Kitch
Program: London in Fall 2003, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Summer 2016
University: Temple University
Did your participation in study abroad change the way you think about your teaching?: "My participation in study abroad helped me to understand that absolutely everything is "learning," including not only the classroom and internship experiences, but also the ways in which students change and grow due to their own encounters with each other, with people unlike them, and with the city itself. While this is pronounced in a study-away experience, it increased my sensitivity to context and to teaching to "the whole student" at home as well. The study-abroad experience also reinforced to me that, no matter what the students' particular majors are, a university education is about helping them gain the cultural, historical, and social competence that will enable them to become responsible and thoughtful citizens in the broader world.
Like the students, I gained valuable insights into how other countries view and interpret American culture and politics -- lessons that lasted long after we came home. At the same time, my experiences helped me to see similarities in community issues and social values across cultures. During all of my study-abroad experiences, I learned a great deal from watching the students' development. As a result, I have come to think of my own career development as an interdisciplinary, ongoing, social process rather than a set of individual goals that are specific to my professional field."