American Sociological Association

Beyond "Just Being There": Teaching Internationalization at Home in Two Qualitative Methods Units

Study-abroad and international-student programs are commonly understood to transform their participants into "global citizens" possessing "cross-cultural competencies." Similar benefits are anticipated from "internationalization at home"—defined as any on-campus, internationally related activity—whereby international students engage with and thus enrich the lives of domestic students. In this article, we reflect on a research project tied to two coursework units, in which largely domestic undergraduate students undertake qualitative research with or about international students. When developing the project, we postulated that the researcher–informant engagement that characterizes qualitative research mirrors that required for effective domestic–international student engagement. In describing engagement, we utilize research on experiential learning, which suggests that experiences can become knowledge only through reflection, analysis, and synthesis. We examine the ways that cross-cultural engagement and experiential learning gained through students’ qualitative research might lead to the realization of the anticipated benefits of internationalization at home.


Baldassar, L., McKenzie, L.





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