Volume 19 Number 15 August 8, 2018

Developing Global Citizenship in Tertiary Performing Arts Students Through Short-term Mobility Programs

Catherine Grant
Griffith University, Australia

Citation: Grant, C. (2018). Developing global citizenship in tertiary performing arts students through short-term mobility programs. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 19(15). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.18113/P8ijea1915


This article examines how short-term overseas mobility (study abroad) programs in the performing arts can foster global citizenship among undergraduate university students. It assesses outcomes from two programs led by different Australian universities: the first in 2015, involving six music and drama students for three weeks; and the second in 2016, involving five music students for ten days. Both cohorts travelled with the author to Cambodia, collaborating with local artists and non-government arts organisations on a range of musical and cultural activities. Drawing primarily on student focus group transcripts and student reflective journal entries, here I examine the extent to which these mobility programs may have contributed to fostering a sense of global citizenship in students. Analysis centres on three broad themes: students’ development of global awareness and understanding, including intercultural awareness and empathy; their growing awareness and understanding of themselves and their societies; and the cultivation of their sense of social responsibility, including an aspiration to contribute to local and global society in a meaningful way. I also raise some challenges and risks of mobility programs with respect to the goal of building global citizenship in students, such as reinforcement of stereotypes and power differentials.

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