Frontiers, the interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, last November 2019 published an article on Study Abroad of 1st generation Latinx students in Costa Rica. Although it is a qualitative case study, it is interesting – particularly when we look at it through European lenses. It shows how study abroad by underrepresented minority students to a culture that they are familiar with, have all kinds of specific beneficial effects.
Do we have many examples in Europe where we use (short-time) study abroad to cater to the specific needs of underrepresented and underprivileged parts of our student populations? Not that I know of. Do we use such programmes to engage with the tensions between dominant and underprivileged groups in our student population – which reflect such tensions in our wider communities? I know of a former programme that sent small groups of students to Israel and the Palestine territories – a life-changing event for the students, who had a mixed background of Jewish and Arab background-students as well as students who were unfamiliar with both backgrounds. I think it was discontinued because the number of students involved counted more heavily than the impact it had on each of them – more is the pity.
If any reader knows of examples: using study abroad to engage with cultural tensions on Campus, please let me know and send me any reports that may exist on them.