DISCUSSION AND QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

In this chapter, the authors present their stories and community participants’ perspectives about one ISL partnership. Although Reynolds’ dissertation focused on outcomes and partnership characteristics, many community participants, including Gasparini, called for renewed and increased focus on relationships and critical global citizenship as the goals for this ISL partnership. In this ISL partnership, the community participants highlight relationships as more important than projects and describe shared austerity and physical presence as paths to pursue relationships. Despite this focus from community participants, the authors have observed some programs sending bigger student groups, allotting less time to spend in rural villages during trip schedules, and not incorporating language skills as a priority in student and faculty selection for trips.

If the community participants call for relationships through shared austerity and physical presence, why are universities making these program choices? Similarly, if community participants call for learning about history, culture, and politics, do universities utilize existing resources on campus to prioritize these areas in associated coursework and pre- and post- student trip meetings? Knowing the community participants value understanding of history, culture, and politics over technical skills or knowledge, why are the ISL partnerships most often situated in professional schools (engineering with some participation from nursing and business in this case) without involvement of faculty and student teams from sociology, political sciences, or language departments on campus? The authors hope to share their stories and the story of this one ISL partnership as a lens to explore both the challenges and potential of ISL partnerships and to provide questions for consideration that can instigate conversations and push us all to improve our work.

 
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