Experiential learning, Africa, education, development, agriculture
AgriCorps, an American organization, created a fellowship program to connect agricultural professionals to school-based agricultural education in developing countries. Previous scholars researched the impacts of international experiences on learners, usually through the lens of short-term study abroad. This study seeks to examine the impact of long-term international fellowship experiences in education and provide recommendations for future like-programs by analyzing the experiences of previous AgriCorps fellows. Fellows lived and taught school-based agricultural education in a community in Ghana or Liberia. Eighteen previous AgriCorps fellows participated in a semi-structured interview through a virtual meeting platform. The interviews were used to collect data on fellows’ experiences and perceptions. Through our analysis, 12 themes and 64 sub themes emerged. The initial themes include 1) growth after fellowship, 2) thoughts on AgriCorps post experience, 3) challenges, 4) AgriCorps responsibility, 5) discrimination, 6) enjoyed the culture, 7) reflection, 8) developed development philosophy, 9) adjusting to fellowship life, 10) engaging community, 11), language and 12) relationships built. With recommendations to provide language training, have established protocols for sexual harassment and health emergencies, ensure access to mental health and reflection resources, and assist participants in adapting back into home country culture.
Dado, M., Spence, J. R., & Elliot, J. (2023). Going the Distance: Examining the Impact of a Long-Term International Fellowship. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 30(1), 59-73. https://doi.org/10.4148/2831-5960.1088