PacRim Program Learning Objectives and Strategies

PacRim Program Learning Objectives and Strategies Statement

Drawing on the broad consensus of leading scholars writing on study abroad and experiential learning, the PacRim Program embraces an experiential/constructivist approach to abroad education that maximizes site utilization and increases intercultural competence among student participants. The experiential/constructivist perspective focuses on intercultural learning, intentionality, and critical thinking about socio-cultural differences. Our approach favors learning through immersion with cultural mentoring, which is accomplished through interventionist approaches to students’ abroad experience designed to promote intercultural understanding.  

PacRim Learning Objectives

  1. Student acquisition of intercultural competence through guided immersion throughout the PacRim experience.
  2. An experientially cultivated awareness and understanding of local, cultural life-ways, and regional socio-cultural, political, and economic variation.
  3. An ongoing, critical awareness of the influence of historic & contemporary power and wealth inequalities on peoples and regions.
  4. Development of deep understandings about Asian cultures and practices, as well as lasting connections with people in Asia from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Key Strategies for pursuit of these goals:

  1. Encourage a programmatic focus across all areas of administration and academics to maximize site utilization by encouraging students to seek out productive, local engagements in Asia.
  2. Mentoring by PacRim Directors that provides students with greater background on the cultural, political, and economic contexts and histories of countries/sites being visited, and including appropriate focus on historical relationships to other states and regions, colonialism, and power relations.
  3. Program design that focuses on experiential interventions throughout the trip, including directors’ course design, local/university arrangements at each site, in choosing instructors and courses, and communicating programmatic expectations.
  4. Integration of coursework with targeted interventions, connecting ideas from the classroom with the cultural space in experiential ways that mobilize course ideas and encourage autonomous experimentation and exploration, reflection, and integration.