Study abroad programs have become increasingly popular in Japanese tertiary education in response to the nationwide campaigns and movements for fostering “global human resources” (Yonezawa 2014). In the current discourse of development of human resources with a global perspective, students’ acquirement of global awareness and intercultural skills is often emphasized. Given that Japan’s regional communities are in an urgent need of revitalization, considering various local issues such as declining birth rate, depopulation, and declining provincial industries, we advocate a new perspective about study abroad programs that cultivate understanding and awareness of both global and local issues (“glocal”) as well as their interconnectedness. This paper aims (1) to foster glocal awareness among students through short-term, content-based study abroad programs related to poverty and sustainable society issues in the Philippines and (2) to examine whether participants acquire glocal awareness and a sense of ownership by thinking through both global and local issues. Glocal awareness is examined under the following three categories—(a) awareness of the interconnectedness of global and local issues, (b) personal growth and development, and (c) motivation to take an action to positively influence global and local issues. Such programs are found to have a significant self-perceived impact on participants’ glocal awareness with respect to poverty and becoming motivated to take action on global, local, and personal levels.
Hanayo Hirai, Iwate University, Japan
Natsumi Onaka, Iwate University, Japan
Stream: Student Learning, Learner Experiences and Learner Diversity
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