Technology Enhances Abroad Experiences – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Technology Enhances Abroad Experiences

For Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the study-abroad experience does not end when the plane, train or boat concludes its journey back to American shores. From November 16 through 18, HWS were excited to highlight their unique programs with a series of multimedia storytelling projects from students involved in the pre-departure, on-site, and reentry levels of their abroad experience.

The Colleges kicked things off Friday night with their fifth installment of Away Café. Held every semester in HWS’ atmospheric Cellar Pub, Away Café is an open-mic night of stories that cross borders. Returned study abroad students, international students, faculty and staff, anyone who has a story that “crosses borders,” is welcome to tell a story.

As part of the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE), HWS hosted “Crossing Borders,” a series of workshops and presentations highlighting the stories, photography and digital film of abroad students. The workshop examined how knowledge of emerging multimedia technologies brought students to a deeper encounter with place, as well as equipped them to communicate these experiences through powerful narratives. Emerging technology makes it easy for people to create and share multimedia stories created from digital images, audio and video, pushing the storyteller’s art in new directions and involving audiences in novel ways.

Nationwide, institutions of higher learning have increasingly recognized that students who study abroad often lack the narrative tools to help them make sense of and communicate their cross-cultural experiences. They may be powerfully affected by their encounter with a different culture, but unable to articulate it in any meaningful way.

Workshop participants discussed the important role that ‘story’ can play in study abroad, and visiting professors and professionals helped students tell more effective stories through a variety of storytelling exercises and media.  

This workshop is a special instance of “Multimedia Narrative,” a workshop available through NITLE’s Workshops to Go program.