Through a new digital storytelling initiative, the Office of Study Abroad hopes to help study abroad returnees reflect on their experience. In our fast-paced world, we often live through an experience and then quickly move on to the next. This is frequently the case with study abroad returnees who report their semester or year overseas was a life-changing experience but struggle to articulate how.
Digital stories, short narrated videos containing a series of photos or video clips, aim to tell the story of a single powerful moment. This year’s study abroad orientation leaders were asked to create their own digital story. Through this process, they reflected on a moment that helped shape their abroad experience. What happened that helped them better understand their new culture? What made them feel like they finally belonged? What traditions did they adopt?
The digital storytelling medium allows students to communicate with friends and family, in a concise but personal way, the impact of their experience and may help ease the transition home. It also creates a focused time to unpack the skills and insights they’ve gained. Understanding the effect on their personal and intellectual development helps students better demonstrate to future employers the value of hiring an internationally or interculturally minded employee. Taking this time to reflect is critical to fully realize all of the benefits of a study abroad experience.
This year’s digital stories can be seen here.
If you’re interested in learning more about digital storytelling, please contact Kendall Clements in the Office of Study Abroad.