Becoming Globally-minded Scientists: The Short- and Long-term Impacts of International Exchange
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Research on international exchange demonstrates multiple positive outcomes for participating students. Using data collected from the participants of a Youth TechCamps program, the research questions are squarely focused on how international experience impacts learners’ understanding of the world and their new cultural awareness. The working hypothesis is that the experiences of working with international peers will influence students’ perceptions and understanding about global matters. This article adds to the literature by showing that some changes have an influence in the short-term while others persist and have a long-term impact. Specifically, the difference between short- and long-term impacts relates to how students integrate those changes. The former is passive (i.e., I understand differences exist among people) while the latter mark intentional change (i.e., I incorporate attractive components of another culture to ways of doing things). The findings are couched in research that brings together students in the U.S.A., Bolivia, Panama, and South Africa.