This article reflects on the multiple dimensions of cross-cultural learning as a transformational process. Our case study, the Sustainable Futures Program, is a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary, collaborative study-abroad program hosted by the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica. Community-based studio projects are focal points of the program and range from site-scale landscape and architectural developments to conservation-based planning and design. North American students work with native Costa Ricans and naturalized Quakers living in the community, as well as with accompanying faculty from architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. The students gain new insights into diverse cultural systems and values, alternative professional methods and design solutions, as well as their own personal identity and career aspirations. The paper describes and analyzes each of the program structures, identifies the students’ resulting personal and professional transformations from a student perspective, and summarizes program challenges. The transformation process extends beyond the students, providing transformational opportunities for the faculty, host institution, community-based organizations, and local residents.
- Costa Rica,
- scenario planning,
- study abroad,
- cross-cultural learning
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stacy_harwood/11/