Your experience abroad is a significant investment for you, Princeton University and our partners. To encourage you to celebrate, share and amplify your learning upon your return, we would like you to capture and distill your insights and reflections from your international experience in any of the following formats:
- Written reflections
- Qualitative poster
- Research presentation
- Exhibitions of art or photography
- Theater or dance performance
- Demonstration of a cultural practice and discussion of how it is meaningful (e.g. cooking, games, ceremonies)
- Other presentations (e.g. PowerPoint)
Or choose a format that better suits you and let us know why you’ve chosen that. Think of the final product as a mosaic of Princeton students’ international experiences over the past year, where each of you is adding your own unique tile.
This exercise is intended to provide a structure for intentional, continual reflection; help you make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts and events; record your journey and present it to a wider audience in a format of your choosing; and promote cross-sharing and learning across the rich experiences all of you will be engaged in.
Framing a Narrative
Here are some reflective prompts to help focus and frame your reflection. Feel free to use as many as you want, or to simply focus on just one.
- What were the highlights of your experience... and why are they highlights?
- What perspectives did you gain or shift from working/living in a new environment? What were your “aha” moments and key takeaways? In what ways are you different now than you were at the beginning of the experience?
- What legacy do you want to leave for your hosts/communities/employers/future Princeton students? Which stories do you want to tell? Take a minute to consider your potential audience. Who are you talking to? We suggest you initially construct your reflection with a broad audience, after which you can narrow it down to a more specific group as you define your intentions.
- Who were the people you were acquainted with through your experience? What were their stories?
- What can you include in your reflection that is specific to your own experience? What are you learning about yourself? Remember this is your story to tell!
Other Useful Tips
- Make it a point to engage in reflection, whether through journaling, photography, blogging, or any method that suits you, so that you are continually making sense of and meaning from your experience.
- Creating a reflection of any sort is an ongoing process. Get into the habit of documenting impressions that strike you at the end of the day or week, so that you have rich material to draw from and showcase when you start putting together your final reflection.
- Remember the quality of your reflection rests more in its narrative content than in its technical aspects.
Your reflection may be shared with other students and/or with the general public during Learning Across Borders. However, if you would prefer to keep your reflection private, please let us know and we will make sure it does!