Introduction 2 Diaries in Higher Education 2

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Diaries as Learning Support for the Year Abroad

Contents Page

1 Introduction 1

2 Diaries in Higher Education 2

2.1 Nomenclature 2

2.2 Different Purposes 4

2.3 Diaries for the Year Abroad 6

3 Survey 6

3.1 Scope 6

    1. Findings 7

    2. Proposals for Best Practice 9

4 New Diary Formats 10

4.1 The Second Semester Diary 10

4.2 The Foreign Language Assistants’ Diary 11

5 Mailing List 12

5.1 Context 12

5.2 The Sheffield Approach 14

    1. Student Involvement 15

    2. Outcomes and Development 16

    3. Concluding Comments 18

6 Conclusion 19


A Bibliography 21

B List of Institutions contacted and respondents 25

C Questionnaire 42

D Detailed answers 48

E Sheffield Year Abroad Diary 66

F Examples of Diaries received from Other Institutions 96

  1. Introduction

In many UK higher education institutions, the period of residence abroad is an integral part of courses students undertake. However, in contrast to the other years they spend at their home institutions, what happens during their year abroad is largely outside the control of the home university. For students, this period can be a wonderful opportunity for maturation and growing independence, on the other hand, it can become a “lost year”, where they feel they have lost contact with their home university and their fellow students. The sub-project “diaries as learning support for the year abroad” focuses on the crucial period students spend in other European countries and aims to offer some ideas and suggestions on what the home universities can do to help secure the best possible outcomes from a period of residence abroad without stifling independent development or “controlling” their students. Diaries as learning aids can offer a means to develop more independent study skills. They are also one possibility to catch the “imminence” of students’ experience abroad.

This report will give an overview of the use of diaries as support for the year abroad is in UK higher education institutions, and which particular forms of diaries are in use. Some guidelines for good practice in the use of diaries will also - we hope - evolve from this survey. As an alternative means of maintaining contact with and between students during their period of residence abroad, a mailing list has been trialled at the University of Sheffield over the last academic year. Since this venture is rather new and untested1, the workings of the mailing list, its benefits and problems are reported on in detail. Achievements so far and areas of the sub-project still open for further investigation are discussed in the concluding pages of the report.

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docs -> Learning activities for use with the Interculture Project Database: Students' Accounts of Residence Abroad
docs -> Acquiring intercultural competence
docs -> Review of current practice in ukhe
docs -> Integration of the Period of Residence Abroad and De-Briefing
docs -> Report on the evaluation of Interculture Project Experience Murray Saunders July 2000
docs -> Preparation and support of students on a period of residence abroad, using an electronic mailing list Ursula Stickler and Tim W. Lewis
docs -> Progress Symposium

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