Tales from Abroad: narrative habits and the interpretation of study abroad experiences
Interviews with Australian university students returning from study in France indicate that problems in accessing crucial information are common experiences, and frequently lead to students reproducing stereotypes of French administrative inefficiency. Our project demonstrates that the issue is not one of information per se but of cultural differences in the dissemination of information. It analyses the ways in which students interpret their information-gathering difficulties, and the appropriateness of the strategies they devise for overcoming them. And it examines the pedagogical implications for preparing students for study abroad, suggesting means of both equipping students with alternative ways of understanding “information skills” and intervening in the perpetuation of stereotypes.