About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5409-5414
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.2314

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

EXCHANGE STUDENTS' EXPERIENCES AT A MEXICAN UNIVERSITY: RETHINKING THE JOURNEY

M J. Guillermo-Echeverría

Universidad Autónoma del Carmen (MEXICO)
The purpose of this paper is to critically approach the experiences of the students who recently participated in the Exchange Student Program at the Universidad Autónoma del Carmen (UNACAR), in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, México and present evidence of the actions and relations interwoven among the different entities involved in this process, the sort of associations that preceded and emerged from these bonds, the main features of the participant Universities from the perspective of the subjects who have had the experience of the local vs. the recipient institution, and the self- perceived qualities of the individuals who were willing to undergo this experience.

Latour (2005) suggests to pay special attention to the content of the multiple assemblages that take place “under the umbrella of a society”, in the same line Law (2004) outlines that sets of realities are being rendered, being made or visible by the way we experience the world. Based on these theoretical perspectives the present research aims to scrutinize the participants’ stories, which conferred meaning to their unique experience as a result of the multiple assemblages that configured this particular stage of their lives by narrating it to the researcher-interviewer.

On June and July 2016, a total of 15 students -who voluntarily participated on this project- were asked to retell, through a deep semi-guided interview, his/her recent experience as exchange students. The interviewer questioned students about their family background, the conditions under which they decided to participate on the exchange program and the factors that might have influenced their decision. Other aspects taken into consideration were the previous negotiation between institutions to make both academic programs compatible, the characteristics of the recipient vs. the local institution, the main features and difficulty of their subjects, their relations with classmates and professors, other challenges they had to face and most of all the resulting bonds from this experience.

The sample was integrated by 9 female and 6 male students ranging from 22 years old, all of them with university (undergrad) level of education from different areas such as Education, English Language, Law School, International Studies, Tourism, Marine Biology, Civil Engineering and Chemical Engineering. 11 of those participants were local (UNACAR) who studied one semester or two in other institutions; 4 of them in other states of México and the other 7 in Europe (Spain, France) and South America (Argentina, Colombia) all of Mexican origin from different ethnic backgrounds. The sample also included 4 students from Argentina, Spain, Venezuela, and another one from a public Mexican University, who attended a semester in our institution; making a total of 15 participants.

This research project concludes that the experience of a new reality is an unfinished and continuous process that in this case, has given these students the elements to contrast the different aspects that shape his/her reality with a different one and re-signify it. After an extensive content analysis of the interviews, it can be stated that these students show a tendency to characterize themselves as bold, mature and willing to expose themselves to different experiences. The student´s attitude towards the education process was also a constant element of comparison. After analyzing the results we were able to identify more opportunities for further research.
@InProceedings{GUILLERMOECHEVERRIA2016EXC,
author = {Guillermo-Echeverr{\'{i}}a, M J.},
title = {EXCHANGE STUDENTS' EXPERIENCES AT A MEXICAN UNIVERSITY: RETHINKING THE JOURNEY},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.2314},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.2314},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {5409-5414}}
TY - CONF
AU - M J. Guillermo-Echeverría
TI - EXCHANGE STUDENTS' EXPERIENCES AT A MEXICAN UNIVERSITY: RETHINKING THE JOURNEY
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.2314
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 5409
EP - 5414
ER -
M J. Guillermo-Echeverría (2016) EXCHANGE STUDENTS' EXPERIENCES AT A MEXICAN UNIVERSITY: RETHINKING THE JOURNEY, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 5409-5414.
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