Study Abroad Strengths-Based Curriculum: Advancing Self-Reflection and Relationship-Building Leadership Skills
Immersion in a strengths-based, study abroad program provides extensive opportunity for leadership growth. Navigating the unknown adds to the challenge students experience during their student-organized activities. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how a strengths-based curricula design advanced the leadership competency levels of self-reflection and relationship building during a graduate, short-term study abroad program. The findings show that before and during the program, self-reflection led to thoughtful discussions, which led to valuing differences. Self-reflection contributed to deeper self-awareness of how an individual’s primary strengths and blind spots led to mutual respect. On-going mutual respect enhanced relationships through appreciation for diversity. The strengths-based knowledge aided in acknowledging and valuing differences in one another, which positively impacted relationships.
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