Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type



multicultural competence, social justice, service learning, cultural immersion, counselor-in-training, person-of-the counselor

Subject Area

Counseling, Counselor Education, Higher Education Counseling


Promoting Awareness-of-Self: Cultural Immersion and Service-Learning experiences


Counselor education is committed to exploring innovative pedagogy to provide opportunities for counselor trainees to increase multicultural competence. International cultural immersion and service –learning create an environment for counselors-in-training to explore their cultural competence through cultural interactions, relationships, and heightened self-awareness. This exploratory, qualitative, phenomenological study using focus group data collection investigated the lived experience of counselors-in-training through international cultural immersion and service-learning. Awareness-of-self emerged as the overarching theme which included themes of personal and national privilege, cultural encapsulation, sense of belonging, and racism. Subthemes include attitudes and beliefs, cultural norms, time, gender roles, community vs. individualism, intra-group differences, and intra-community racism. Findings can serve to inform counselor educators on the use of international service-learning and cultural immersion as pedagogy for advancing self-awareness and multicultural competence.



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