After Australia, French without France
Introduction The recent phenomenon of intercultural exchanges in Australia by French academic sojourners raises key issues concerning borderless higher education, such as, for example, implications of brain drain, competition between home and foreign providers of e-learning, effec- tive international collaboration between institutions, and cultural identity remodelling. Numerous studies have been carried out on academic sojourners, but much of the research to date has focused on the academic dimensions of their experience (see Hofstede, 1980; Liberman, 1994; Shade and New, 1993). By comparison, few studies have addressed issues relating to the social and cultural dimensions of the exchange process (e.g. Blackledge and Pavlenko, 2001; Storti, 2001b; Weaver, 1994). These dimensions are however of central importance to understanding the nature and impact of the study abroad experience. This book investigates the impact of the acculturation and repatriation processes and the language experiences of French academic sojourners on their perceptions of cultural identity. When sojourners enter a new society with distinctive cultural norms and values, it stands to reason that identity changes may result from intercultural contact between visitors and host society members, as identity transformations occur in response to temporal, cultural and situational contexts (Ward, Bochner and Furnham, 2001). When sojourners are required to adapt to an unaccustomed sociocultural milieu over an extended period of time, they need to learn new cultural repertoires and competencies. Adjustment to an unfamiliar culture necessitates changes in cognition, attitudes and behaviour, without which culture shock and acculturative stress may occur (Taft, 1988). My interest in French...
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