Cultural Transitions Interview Project
The Cultural Transitions Interview Project chronicles the travel experiences of CG community members and visitors to our school. Students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni who want to share their perspectives as they move between cultures are urged to participate. The questions can be tailored for anyone traveling abroad and for international students studying here. Responses will be in the form of voice recordings, writings, videos, photos, artistic pieces, or blogs.
Educational and community goals
- Encourage deep, reflective thinking about moving between cultures, why we do it, and how we change as a result.
- Capture and expose how people go about developing a wider lens on world cultures.
- Share details of cultural experiences in a meaningful, ongoing way with a wide audience.
- Create a place to expose and share aspects of our multicultural community.
- Welcome and honor those who are taking the risk of going abroad or studying here from other cultures.
- Strengthen the support structure for families and students from diverse backgrounds.
- Allow us to hear from community members while they are abroad, or from those who have left permanently.
- Provide potential for collaboration.
- Tailor the questions to your experience and make a plan for how you’ll respond to them. Feel free to delete or add questions as you see fit.
- Create your space on the website and share only what you feel strongly about.
Stage 1: Pre-travel questions
- Why did you decide to go for this experience?
- Do you think traveling outside your community is an important thing to do? Why?
- What are you most nervous about?
- What are you most excited about?
- What goals do you have for your time away?
- What do you think will be the hardest part of this experience?
- What might be your greatest contribution to the community in which you will live?
- What does it mean to you to be a citizen from your native country or culture?
- How do you describe yourself as a person? How would others describe you?
- What other languages do you speak?
- What other cultures have you experienced or lived in?
- How do you expect to be viewed in your host culture?
- What tangible items from your home culture might you bring along with you to share with your host culture?
- What would these items tell someone about the contrasts and/or similarities between your culture and your host culture?
- What impressions do you have of your host country? Think culture, religion, society, sports, food, etc.
Stage 2: Mid-travel questions
Listen to your pre-travel interview and give a general response comparing what you said then and how you feel now.
- What has surprised you so far?
- What are your thoughts and feelings about your home country?
- Have you pushed yourself outside your comfort zone?
- How are things going with your host family? Difficult parts, excellent parts?
- How are people from this culture different from what you are accustomed to?
- What is similar between home and here?
- How is your language-learning going?
- Is there anything that is really bothering you?
- Who do you miss the most from home?
- Besides individual people, what do you really miss about home?
- Are you keeping in touch with friends and family back home? How? How often?
- How does your host culture view your home culture? How do they communicate those views?
- Are you proud to represent your home culture while abroad? Explain.
- Have you experienced any kind of bias or negative assumptions about who you are as a cultural outsider? Describe these incidents.
- Do you feel that you know enough about your home culture to effectively teach people about it?
- What else is there in your experience that you want to share?
Stage 3: End of travel questions
Listen to your mid-travel interview and give a general response comparing what you said then with how you feel now.
- What is your biggest success from this experience?
- What was your biggest personal (non-academic) challenge in this experience?
- Do you have any regrets about leaving home?
- What has surprised you about yourself?
- What has changed about the way you see yourself?
- What has changed about the way you see the world?
- Why do you think traveling outside the country is important? Has your opinion on this changed?
- Do you feel like you belong to your host community?
- How do think your host community has changed because of your presence here?
- What other thoughts or feelings do you have about the your transition back home?
- What do you expect your re-entry to be like?
- Who are you most excited to see?
- What tangible items from your host culture might you bring home with you to better share your experience with friends and family?
- What are the most important aspects you want to share with people at home about your experience?
- Do you plan on returning to your host culture? In what capacity?
- Where would you like to travel next? Why? What might you do differently in your next abroad experience?
Stage 4: Post-travel questions
(To be completed within the first three months after returning home)
Listen to any or all of your previous recordings and give a general response comparing what you said then and how you feel now.
- Are you happy to be home? Why?
- Do you miss your host country, family, friends, life?
- Do people at home treat you differently now? Should they?
- Do people want to hear your stories and see your photos?
- Has your relationship with your family changed? How?
- Have your relationships with friends changed? How?
- What do you notice about your home culture that you didn’t notice before? Food, people, communication, academics, etc.
- How would someone from your host culture view your home culture? What opinions would they have?
- What about your host culture has become a lasting part of you? How will you make it remain so?