The learning processes of international students through the eyes of foreign supervisors.

Research paper by S S Niemantsverdriet, C P M CP van der Vleuten, G D GD Majoor, A J J A AJ Scherpbier

Indexed on: 30 Jun '06Published on: 30 Jun '06Published in: Medical teacher


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with external supervisors of international electives undertaken by Dutch undergraduate students, in order to gain insight into student learning processes during these electives. The interviews served to triangulate information on these learning processes that was obtained from students' self-reports. The results of the case study reported in this paper were largely consistent with findings from prior studies of international electives in which learning processes and sociocultural differences were examined: experiential learning processes appeared to dominate and sociocultural differences occasionally seemed to blur productive learning, especially when the differences between the national cultures of host country and student home country were substantial. It is recommended that students' experiential learning from international electives should be supplemented with 'guided' and 'self-directed' learning with a focus on the sociocultural dimension.