Reflections on What it means to be human and A shared humanity.

Read What it Means to be Human and A Shared Humanity, two students’ reflections on their International Volunteer placement.
Both readings are in N. J. Benham Rennick & M. Desjardins (Eds.), The world is my classroom: International learning and Canadian higher education. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
What it Means to be Human: Pages 85-87.
A Shared Humanity: Pages 87-90.
Once you’ve read the reflections, complete the following task:
a) First, simply describe your reactions (please remember that you can express your opinions as freely and openly as you wish, as long as they are respectfully presented).
How did you feel while reading them? Allow yourself to react and to experience the emotions that immediately come after having read the narratives.
b) Second, using the following questions as a guide, reflect on these narratives (note: you are not required to address all the questions below – select one or two to focus on).
1. In these narratives, the students’ assumptions, expectations and beliefs were challenged. Try to put yourself in the situations described in the narrative – would your assumptions, expectations and beliefs also be challenged? If so, which ones, and how?
2. What assumptions, values or expectations might you bring to an international placement that you would be encouraged to reconsider?
3. How do you think these experiences changed the students who experienced them?
4. How might an international placement change the way you view the world?
5. Do you think international volunteer placement would take you out of your “comfort zone”? How might you adjust?
Once you have answered these questions, watch students describe the value of their international learning experience here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E89cV5Raqe8. One of these students is Clara Yoon, whose story you read. The two main presenters, Drs. Benham Rennick and Desjardins, are the editors of the book from which the student stories you read were taken. This video captures a presentation given at Laurier’s Integrated and Engaged Learning Conference in May 2014. Watch the segment from minute 9:00 through 19:30.
Now that you’ve watched this video, reflect again on the answers you prepared. Would you change anything?

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