Some of the simplest affordances of study abroad became unavailable when students stayed stateside because of the pandemic-induced disruptions to international travel. These ranged from touring city and historical/cultural landmarks, having spontaneous and chance interactions with locals, participating in the performance of traditions and practices, visiting homes, engaging in domestic activities with host families and local peers, and developing a sense of community with other fellow students. This paper reports on three alternate, virtual cultural activities that were launched during the pandemic between a U.S. university and its study abroad partner institution in Morocco in order to help compensate for the health disruption. Survey responses, cultural products, and reflections from 118 participants were collected for this study over two Arabic summer intensive programs at the stateside university. The study explores the effectiveness of these activities in promoting intercultural competence and student engagement during this period and speculates on how they can be integrated into the regular programming post-pandemic in order to further enhance immersion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Linguistics and Language