Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Participants in study abroad (SA) programs (sojourners) are often encouraged to blog as a form of reflective writing, yet little is known about this practice. Generally, reflection facilitates sojourners’ engagement in their personal and professional growth. Drawing from two different but complementary frameworks, we analyzed blogs from 51 sojourners in short-term SA volunteer teaching placements to examine the reflection that occurred through their writing. The two frameworks revealed different aspects of blogging practices: types of reflection (Maarof, 2007) were primarily descriptive, but intercultural communicative competence learning (Elola & Oskoz, 2008) examples were more numerous and varied, documenting sojourners’ navigation of culture in SA. Sojourners did not typically use their blogs for dialogic or critical reflection, instead chronicling experiences or representing reflection as completed actions. Although blogging can be useful for reflection in SA, the results from this study suggest that careful scaffolding may be necessary to encourage critical reflection.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Anderson, P. H., Lawton, L., Rexeisen, R. J., & Hubbard, A. C.
    (2006) Short-term study abroad and intercultural sensitivity: A pilot study. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30(4), 457–469. 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2005.10.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2005.10.004 [Google Scholar]
  2. Bell, R.
    (2016) Concerns and expectations of students participating in study abroad programmes: Blogging to reveal the dynamic student voice. Journal of Research in International Education, 15(3), 196–207. 10.1177/1475240916669028
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1475240916669028 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bickley, C., Rossiter, M. J., & Abbott, M. L.
    (2014) Intercultural communicative competence: Beliefs and practices of adult English as a second language instructors. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 60(1), 135–160.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Brockington, J. L., & Wiedenhoeft, M. D.
    (2009) The liberal arts and global citizenship integrative experiences and structured reflection. InR. Lewin (Ed.), The handbook of practice and research in study abroad: Higher education and the quest for global citizenship (pp.117–132). Taylor & Francis.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Byram, M.
    (1997) Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. (2008) From foreign language education to education for intercultural citizenship: Essays and reflections. Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781847690807
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847690807 [Google Scholar]
  7. Cirak Kurt, S., & Yildirim, I.
    (2021) The effects of blogging on pre-service teachers’ reflective thinking and self-efficacy. Reflective Practice, 22(2), 233–249. 10.1080/14623943.2021.1879772
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2021.1879772 [Google Scholar]
  8. Cohen-Sayag, E. & Fischl, D.
    (2012) Reflective writing in pre-service teachers’ teaching: What does it promote?Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(10), 2–20. 10.14221/ajte.2012v37n10.1
    https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2012v37n10.1 [Google Scholar]
  9. Colwell, J., Nielsen, D., Bradley, B. A., & Spearman, M.
    (2016) Advancing teacher education and curriculum development through study abroad programs. InJ. Rhodes & T. Millby (Eds.), Advancing teacher education and curriculum development through study abroad programs (pp.91–111). IGI Global. 10.4018/978‑1‑4666‑9672‑3.ch006
    https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-9672-3.ch006 [Google Scholar]
  10. Douthit, T. L., Schaake, S. L., Hay, M. M. R., Grieger, D. M., & Bormann, J. M.
    (2015) Student blogs and journals as assessment tools for faculty-led study abroad trips. NACTA Journal, 59(3), 213–218.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Downey, G., & Gray, T.
    (2012) Blogging with the Facebook generation: Studying abroad with Gen Y. Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference (pp.1–12). Australian Association for Research in Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Dressler, R., & Tweedie, M. G.
    (2016) Dialogue journals in short-term study abroad: “Today I wrote my mind.” TESOL Journal, 7(4), 1–29. 10.1002/tesj.254
    https://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.254 [Google Scholar]
  13. Dumova, T., & Fiordo, R.
    (2012) Blogging in the global society: Cultural, political and geographical aspects. IGI Global. 10.4018/978‑1‑60960‑744‑9
    https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-60960-744-9 [Google Scholar]
  14. Dwyer, M. J.
    (2004) More is better: The impact of study abroad program duration. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 10, 151–163. 10.36366/frontiers.v10i1.139
    https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v10i1.139 [Google Scholar]
  15. Ellison, N. B., & Wu, Y.
    (2008) Blogging in the classroom: A preliminary exploration of student attitudes and impact on comprehension. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 17(1), 99–122.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Elola, I., & Oskoz, A.
    (2008) Blogging: Fostering intercultural competence development in foreign language and study abroad contexts. Foreign Language Annals, 41(3), 454–477. 10.1111/j.1944‑9720.2008.tb03307.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2008.tb03307.x [Google Scholar]
  17. Elverson, C. A., & Klawiter, R.
    (2019) Using guided reflection to link cultural and service learning in a study abroad course. Journal of Professional Nursing, 35(3), 181–186. 10.1016/j.profnurs.2018.11.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2018.11.004 [Google Scholar]
  18. Gabaudan, O.
    (2016) Too soon to fly the coop? Online journaling to support students’ learning during their Erasmus study visit. ReCALL, 28(2), 123–146. 10.1017/S0958344015000270
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344015000270 [Google Scholar]
  19. Gelfuso, A., & Dennis, D. V.
    (2014) Getting reflection off the page: The challenges of developing support structures for pre-service teacher reflection. Teaching and Teacher Education, 38, 1–11. 10.1016/j.tate.2013.10.012
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2013.10.012 [Google Scholar]
  20. Goertler, S., & Schenker, T.
    (2021) From study abroad to education abroad: Language proficiency, intercultural competence, and diversity. Routledge. 10.4324/9780429290893
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429290893 [Google Scholar]
  21. Hanney, R., & Skirkeviciutey, G.
    (2020) Reflection, identity, community: Affordances of blogging for social interaction and reflective dialogue. Education and Information Technologies, 25(3), 1553–1569. 10.1007/s10639‑019‑10030‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-019-10030-4 [Google Scholar]
  22. He, Y., Lundgren, K., & Pynes, P.
    (2017) Impact of short-term study abroad program: Inservice teachers’ development of intercultural competence and pedagogical beliefs. Teaching and Teacher Education, 66, 147–157. 10.1016/j.tate.2017.04.012
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.04.012 [Google Scholar]
  23. Henry, J.
    (2021) The geopolitics of travel blogging. Geopolitics, 26(3), 817–837. 10.1080/14650045.2019.1664473
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2019.1664473 [Google Scholar]
  24. Hoff, H. E.
    (2014) A critical discussion of Byram’s model of intercultural communicative competence in the light of bildung theories. Intercultural Education, 25(6), 508–517. 10.1080/14675986.2014.992112
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14675986.2014.992112 [Google Scholar]
  25. Hourigan, T., & Murray, L.
    (2010) Using blogs to help language students to develop reflective learning strategies: Towards a pedagogical framework. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(2), 209–225. 10.14742/ajet.1091
    https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1091 [Google Scholar]
  26. Institute of International Education
    Institute of International Education (2018) Fast facts 2018 – Open Doors. iie.org
  27. Jackson, J.
    (2011) Host language proficiency, intercultural sensitivity, and study abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 21, 167–189. 10.36366/frontiers.v21i1.308
    https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v21i1.308 [Google Scholar]
  28. Khan, B. U., Wei, S., Shah, S. N. A., Gul, R., Ullah, S., Mehmood, S., & Asma
    (2021) Role of blogging in perceived learning and satisfaction of students. Journal of Public Affairs, 21(1). 10.1002/pa.2120
    https://doi.org/10.1002/pa.2120 [Google Scholar]
  29. Kruse, J., & Brubaker, C.
    (2007) Successful study abroad: Tips for student preparation, immersion, and postprocessing. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 40(2), 147–152. 10.1111/tger.2007.40.2.147
    https://doi.org/10.1111/tger.2007.40.2.147 [Google Scholar]
  30. Lee, L.
    (2011) Blogging: Promoting learner autonomy and intercultural competence through study abroad. Language Learning and Technology, 15(3), 87–109.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. (2012) Engaging study abroad students in intercultural learning through blogging and ethnographic interviews. Foreign Language Annals, 45(1), 7–21. 10.1111/j.1944‑9720.2012.01164.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2012.01164.x [Google Scholar]
  32. Lee, L., & Markey, A.
    (2014) A study of learners’ perceptions of online intercultural exchange through Web 2.0 technologies. ReCALL, 26(3), 281–297. 10.1017/S0958344014000111
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344014000111 [Google Scholar]
  33. Lee, K., & Ranta, L.
    (2014) Facebook: Facilitating social access and language acquisition for international students?TESL Canada Journal, 31(2), 22–50. 10.18806/tesl.v31i2.1175
    https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v31i2.1175 [Google Scholar]
  34. Long, T. E.
    (2013) From study abroad to global studies: Reconstructing international education for a globalized world. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 22, 25–36. 10.36366/frontiers.v22i1.317
    https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v22i1.317 [Google Scholar]
  35. Luik, P., & Taimalu, M.
    (2016) Factors of participants and blogs that predict blogging activeness during teaching practice and induction year. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 17(1), 180–194. 10.19173/irrodl.v17i1.2169
    https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v17i1.2169 [Google Scholar]
  36. McAllister, L., Whiteford, G., Hill, B., Thomas, N., & Fitzgerald, M.
    (2006) Reflection in intercultural learning: Examining the international experience through a critical incident approach. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 7(3), 367–381. 10.1080/14623940600837624
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14623940600837624 [Google Scholar]
  37. Maarof, N.
    (2007) Telling his or her story through reflective journals. International Education Journal, 8(1), 205–220.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Mitchell, L., & Paras, A.
    (2018) When difference creates dissonance: understanding the ‘engine’ of intercultural learning in study abroad. Intercultural Education, 29(3), 321–339. 10.1080/14675986.2018.1436361
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14675986.2018.1436361 [Google Scholar]
  39. Morris, N. J., Christie, H., & Barber, J.
    (2019) ‘It’s one of the first times I’ve felt fully engaged’: Developing student engagement using blogging as a form of assessment. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 43(3), 343–361. 10.1080/03098265.2019.1612862
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2019.1612862 [Google Scholar]
  40. Paris, R., & Biggs, M.
    (2018) Why Canada needs a global education strategy. International Journal, 73(1), 146–157. 10.1177/0020702018768481
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0020702018768481 [Google Scholar]
  41. Pasterick, M. L.
    (2015) Language and culture learning abroad: Mediating pre-service world languages teachers’ development of interculturality (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Pennsylvania State University.
  42. (2019) Language and (inter)cultural learning: Supporting language teacher candidates’ development of interculturality during study abroad. InD. Martin & E. Smolcic (Eds.), Redefining teaching competence through immersive programs: Practices for culturally sustaining classrooms (pp.127–153). Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑030‑24788‑1_5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24788-1_5 [Google Scholar]
  43. Perry, L., Stoner, L., Schleser, M., Stoner, K. R., Wadsworth, D., Page, R., & Tarrant, M. A.
    (2015) Digital media as a reflective tool: Creating appropriate spaces for students to become introspective. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 45(2), 323–330. 10.1080/03057925.2014.993237
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2014.993237 [Google Scholar]
  44. Savicki, V., & Price, M. V.
    (2015) Reflective writing: Cognition and affect before, during, and after study abroad. Journal of College Student Development, 56(6), 587–601. 10.1353/csd.2015.0063
    https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2015.0063 [Google Scholar]
  45. Shadowen, N. L., Chieffo, L. P., & Guerra, N. G.
    (2015) The global engagement measurement scale (GEMS): A new scale for assessing the impact of education abroad and campus internationalization. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 26, 231–247. 10.36366/frontiers.v26i1.368
    https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v26i1.368 [Google Scholar]
  46. Take, H., & Shoraku, A.
    (2018) Universities’ expectations for study-abroad programs fostering internationalization: Educational policies. Journal of Studies in International Education, 22(1), 37–52. 10.1177/1028315317724557
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315317724557 [Google Scholar]
  47. Tervalon, M. & Murray-Garcia, J.
    (1998) Cultural humility versus cultural competence: A critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(2), 117–125. 10.1353/hpu.2010.0233
    https://doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2010.0233 [Google Scholar]
  48. Top, E.
    (2012) Blogging as a social medium in undergraduate courses: Sense of community best predictor of perceived learning. Internet and Higher Education, 15(1), 24–28. 10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.02.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.02.001 [Google Scholar]
  49. Vogt, K.
    (2020) Towards a culturally reflective practitioner: Pre-service student teachers in teaching practicums abroad. InD. M. Velliaris (Ed.), Academic mobility programs and engagement: Emerging research and opportunities (pp.143–197). IGI Global. 10.4018/978‑1‑7998‑1607‑2.ch006
    https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-1607-2.ch006 [Google Scholar]
  50. Walker-Rettberg, J.
    (2014) Blogging. Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Witte, A., & Harden, T.
    (2011) Intercultural competence: Concepts, challenges, evaluations. Intercultural Studies and Foreign Language Learning. International Academic Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Wood, C., & Virzi, A.
    (2019) Teachers navigating cultural and linguistic differences: Building empathy through participation in immersive experience. InD. Martin & E. Smolcic (Eds.), Redefining teaching competence through immersive programs: Practices for culturally sustaining classrooms (pp.183–206). Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑030‑24788‑1_7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24788-1_7 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error