Ethnographic Learning While Studying Abroad


  • Richard Jurasek
  • Howard Lamson
  • Patricia O’Maley



ethnography, study abroad, student learning process


This article outlines the theories and applications of ethnography on study abroad programs in an exploration of student learning processes throughout the experience. The first section presents an overview of ethnographic approaches and discusses ethnography as a learning and teaching tool on study abroad. The second section analyzes three student ethnographic projects carried out over a ten-week period in Mexico and in Austria. Finally, the last section emphasizes the importance of ethnographic projects as an intensified experience by which students develop insights through an ongoing reflective and interactive process. 


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Author Biographies

Richard Jurasek

Richard Jurasek serves as Associate Academic Dean and Professor of German at Earlham College. He has published, consulted and spoken widely on the design of on-campus and off-campus curricula. He has co-authored three college-level German textbooks and has designed and conducted many study programs to German- speaking Europe. 




Howard Lamson

Howard Lamson is a Professor of Spanish at Earlham College. He has led many programs in Mexico in which Earlham students engage in ethnographic projects and has helped other institutions develop ethnographic components for their study abroad programs. 

Patricia O’Maley

Patricia O'Maley is the Director of International Programs at Earlham College. She coordinates the design and development of study abroad programs and the efforts to link on- and off-campus learning. She has an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics. 


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How to Cite

Jurasek , R., Lamson, H., & O’Maley, P. (1996). Ethnographic Learning While Studying Abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 2(1), 23–44.



Research Articles