• Volunteering for International students and implications for language development, cultural awareness and employability

      Finn, David; Green, Pat; Cameron, Andrew (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
      The emphasis which is often placed on the academic-related goals of an international student can often overlook the broader aims and benefits which can accompany their stay in the new host environment. This paper attempts to bridge the theoretical gap between the work of Toyokawa and Toyokawa (2000), which focusses on international students without measuring more specific gains in areas such as language and cultural observation, and Kuh (1995), which focusses successfully on personal development benefits but which deals almost exclusively with home-based (largely white Caucasian) students. Through the use of reflective questionnaires and interviews, data will be gathered on the volunteering placements of a number of international students. Specific questions will be asked in the areas of language (for example, the acquisition of new vocabulary and slang), cultural awareness (for example, observations about the British workplace and labour market) and personal development (especially in relation to transferable skills). In this way, it is hoped that more fruitful conclusions can be reached regarding international learners' experiences in out-of-class activities - in this case volunteering - and the extent to which this type of placement can realise benefits to the learners in terms of language, culture and employability.