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Lasting Impact of Study Abroad Experiences
Primarily based on these experiences, we will delve into the processes that happen in the encounter with the other.
By situating the study remain in the university context, elements associated to the internationalization of universities and student mobility are described.
The encounter with the stranger
Within the framework of international cooperation between Mexican and German universities, study stays have been organized for a number of years with the aim of promoting intercultural education, which indicates: education in interaction and exchange and openness to the cultural values of the different human groups
A remain of study abroad confronts each student with their prejudices against strangers. The examples presented in this article include experiences of a Mexican student in Germany, a German student in Mexico, and a Mexican student and a German student in China.
The beginning point for the appreciation of the other is the moment of how 1 is self-placed against the other.
The beginning point of the interviewed students was reflected in their judgment about the encounter with the other individuals in the talked about countries. The stereotypes with which the contexts had been linked played an critical part, and are imaginary with respect to the qualities and behaviors, which are ascribed to a specific group of men and women. They are behavior models that reduce and fragment complicated realities to easier schemes. In the concrete encounter a single can discover the confirmation of the stereotype or locate exactly the opposite
German student in Mexico: “The arrival in Mexico City was a true cultural shock, you do not know what you have to do, fortunately there was somebody who helped me, took me to the taxi and told me what to do”
German student in China: “My 1st impression was of selfishness, an unexpected individuality, the Chinese have no sense of team, social relations are catastrophic, there is chaos, they spit where they want, they are not respectful, conflicts are not resolved. You cannot trust any person, everybody does what they want, there is no protection and legality, injustices are endured”.
In the four examples, stereotypes are reflected in relation to the countries that hosted and that are manifested in the 1st impressions of the students (with chaotic visitors). For Mexicans there is the image of Germany as a country with a extremely advanced technological development, with a quite rigid order, and cold human relations.
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