Supportive Immersion: The Use of Transformative Cross-Cultural Experiential Learning to Address Social Trends in the 21st Century
Abstract: In an era of globalization and rapidly evolving cultural changes, traditional support structures are struggling to equip our youth with the necessary competencies for a successful transition into adulthood. A thematic analysis was performed on interviews of participants of a therapeutic gap program providing what is known as “Supportive Immersion,” an approach to experiential transformative learning where facilitators and learners co-create experiences of learning.
Findings show two main points:
1) participants’ articulation of their perceived personal growth and skill development supported the positive impact of their cross-cultural supportive gap experience, and
2) the five themes identified (PROPS) described characteristics and skill sets of an “integrative learner,” which directly relate to preparing young adults for recent changes in societal trends.
This study demonstrated the outcomes and effectiveness of guided, supported crosscultural immersion experiences. Keywords: Cross-Cultural, Emerging Adults, Supportive Immersion, GapYear, Transitions
Cite this article: Youngberg, K., Recio, D., & Tracy, H. (2020). Supportive Immersion: The Use of Transformative Cross-Cultural Experiential Learning to Address Social Trends in the 21st Century. Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, XII, 117–138. doi: 10.19157/JTSP.issue.12.01.07
Vamos a la playa!
Every week our group is given a fixed amount of money to manage and organize weekly events. The role of activity manager rotates between members in the community, giving everyone a chance to learn about the process of budgeting, time management, and organization.
After several months of planning and saving, our guys were able to take advantage of their activity surplus and spend the weekend surfing and relaxing in Cahuita.
The guys utilized public transportation and cooking their own meals so they'd be able to pay for their cabina and recreational time.
Aventura in San Jerónimo
Our recent Aventura found us in San Jerónimo de San Pedro, a small coffee growing community nestled near the new entrance to Chirripó National Park.
The trip's focus was building and reinforcing two bridges along the newest trail to Cerro Chirripó (the tallest peak in Costa Rica). We worked side by side with the community carrying wood, clearing the ground, and hammering nails to complete the project.
This experience strengthened the bond both within our group and with those that we helped.
We aslo taught English classes, completed a hike with seven waterfalls, and made the summit to Cerro Ena, which boasts an altitude of 3126 meters.
Coffee in Los Altos de Naranjo
A Meeting with the Bribri
Here's one of our newest videos from Aventuras. We had a great experience and a tremendous, but edifying challenge to work on and hike Mt. Chirripo.