Transnational experience for international visitors and their hosts

The central features of the proposal to follow are that there is a transnational experience for the hosts, the experiences do not have to be arranged by the organizer of the visit, and the experience gets brought back by the visitors to their situations at home.

– Pair up each visitor with a host who has similar interests, is at a similar level of their education, and can converse somewhat in English.

– Minimum expectation of these pairs: one meeting/day, whether face-to-face or online. Host helps arrange meetings, experiences, etc. and may attend any arranged by the visitors.

– Project: (for visitors in counseling psychology) 1. What needs to be change in my counseling/psychotherapeutic framework to adapt it to the country I am visiting? 2. What more do I have to inquire about my own framework and my use of it to address the first question? 3. What insights and inquiries should I bring home to my own situation?

– Visiting group meets as a whole to compare notes (perhaps using the dialogue hour format) every other day.  Final report—spoken and written—on the product and process of addressing Qs 1-3 over the course of the visit.

– Shared online document of scheduled meetings and activities. (RSVP to meeting/activity organizers so they can know how many of the visitors and hosts will attend.)

– Pairs could also help each other with learning and improving each other’s language, and even develop collaborations to continue after the visit.

Note: Even if no collaboration continues afterwards, there will be a legacy of the interaction in how the visitors pursue Qs 2 & 3.

The experiences for the counseling psychologists may extend beyond the field, for example to e-health, or to responses to disasters (in the health psychology tradition). Both members of the pair – the visitor and the host – help each other think about how to study and engage in the additional issue(s).

This format could be readily extended to fields other than counseling psychology. For example, environmental scientists could see how problems can get addressed in the regulatory, economic, political, infrastructural, etc. context of another country, in comparison to the visitor’s country.

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

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