This summer I had four students who traveled to Europe to participate in our international learning program. Two of them worked with scientists on research projects at Wageningen University in Holland and two worked at the Research Centre Foulum, the major animal science research facility in Denmark. Starting prior to the students' departure and continuing throughout their travel and even after they returned, I asked each of them to submit entries to a common blog.
For example, shortly after they arrived in Europe they were asked to address the following:
"Now that you have arrived at your destination, please address the following questions in your blog:
- What did you experience during your travel that you found especially interesting? Why was it interesting?
- What did you experience during your travel that you found especially negative? Why was it negative?
- What are your initial impressions of the country you are visiting, the town you are living in, your accommodations, the people you are interacting with, or any other initial impressions that you would like to share?
- What are you most excited about in looking forward to the next several weeks? Why are you excited about that?"
Later items for reflection included questions such as:
"Identify 3 problems that you have had since leaving home. For each, describe in detail how you went about solving those problems or coming to a personal accommodation about the problem (for example, how did you use communication, creativity, persistence, dialog, negotiation, etc to resolve the problem?). Also, how has solving each problem impacted you since that time?"
This blog can be found at http://ansc-usda2007.blogspot.com/
Please feel free to look through their responses. It makes interesting reading.