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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5087||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 33, Issue 6, December 2012, Pages 1493–1501
The study explores motives for Taiwanese students to volunteer overseas and what they have learned from the trip. Their motivations are classified into pull and push factors. Pull factors include expecting challenge, validating personal perceptions of the place, and getting to know local residents and experiencing the life in a foreign culture. Push factors identified as underlying themes include escaping from daily life to reorganize and relax, look for new ways of life and self exploration, a desire to give back, to make friends who share a common interest, a less expensive way of traveling, encouragement by others, and parental compulsion. The students gain several benefits from this trip, including a better attitude to learning, better communication skills, better stress management, an appreciation of what they have, being more active, becoming more generous and developing empathetic skills, be willing to hear and respect different voices, having trust in co-workers and be willing to admit deficiencies, appreciating a slower life pace, having an open mind, and learning to control material desire.
Volunteer tourism has grown tremendously throughout the world. So far, growing themes has been identified and used to describe the phenomenon of volunteer tourism. It has been described as a more ethical way of tourism than the traditional mass tourism as its benefits are two-fold. Volunteer tourists undertake holidays to another location where they volunteer in an organized project that might involve helping or alleviating the material poverty of some groups in the society, restoration of certain environments or research into certain aspects of the society or environment (Wearing, 2001: p1). It allows volunteers to offer something back to the social and natural environments of their destinations, which is perceived as an act of altruism. In doing so, volunteers will also be engaged in the process of personal development, self-discovery, and (re)-evaluation of personal values (Ellis, 2003; Wearing, 2001), which can be interpreted as an act of egoism. Although volunteer tourism produces positive impacts on social and natural environments, much research into volunteer tourism is deficient. First, researchers mistakenly view volunteer tourism purely as a way for the rich (Hall & Tucker, 2004) to satisfy their own desires by forcing their way into the lives of the needy around the world. This is sometimes seen as a form of post-colonialism or neo-colonialism. Second, a related limitation of the existing literature is associated with sampling. This is due to the fact that most previous research (Fisher, 2004; Lo & Lee, 2011; Mustonen, 2006; Pearce & Coghlan, 2008; Scheyvens, 2002) used samples consisting of Western volunteer tourists in volunteer tourism. Volunteer tourism is therefore considered as a western-based pilgrimage, and little is known about Asian students' personal dynamics of international volunteer work, or what they have learned from the experience and its effects on studying and life. Third, most research has focused exclusively on volunteer tourist's experience, motivations, and needs (Brown & Lehto, 2005; Brown & Morrison, 2003; Lo & Lee, 2011; Sin, 2009), rather than the needs of the service area. The most popular research in this sector has focused primarily on the volunteer tourist's motivations. Söderman and Snead (2008) assert that motivational factors, especially for overseas volunteers, are complex and largely under-researched. Motivational factors for volunteer abroad can be roughly classified into altruistic, egoistic, and multiple. It is undeniable that most previous research has taken a western perspective. However, tourist motivations vary across cultural and individual backgrounds (Zhang & Lam, 1999). Overall, the extant research of the motivations for other types of tourists to engage in overseas volunteering is really insufficient. Although there are many types of volunteer programs offered by tour operators, non-profit organizations (NGOs), and academic groups to assist in community agriculture, archeology, development, construction, education and teaching, technical assistance, historic preservation, medical and dental (Brown, 2005), environmental protection and conservation (Gray, & Campbell, 2007; Lepp, 2008), scientific research and ecological (Wearing, 2004; Wight, 2003), and taking care wild animals (Campbell & Smith, 2006; Carter, 2005), most research remains focused primarily on the environmental volunteering (Brightsmith, Stronza, & Holle, 2008; Chen & Chen, 2011; Gray & Campbell, 2007; Wearing, 2001). Minimal research is concerned with the motivations of students who volunteer abroad and engage in short-term volunteering projects in guest teaching in schools within developing countries. Taiwanese students embark on a trip of self-learning as soon as they register for a volunteering program. Before the trip, they might need to collect information about the program (including the destination and instructions they are expected to offer). During the trip, they will be confronted with various challenges in dealing with unfamiliar people (i.e., co-workers and people at the destination), events, and new things. Moreover, most of their destinations are located at remote areas with scarce resources, they have to live in an environment that is extremely different from the one they are used to. The above process requires them to have much self-adjustment and adaptation. The entire activity is not only a challenging experience of life but also a learning process. Manners and Durkin (2000) stress that challenging life experiences can offer more stimulation to one's thoughts and promote self-learning. Cress and Sax (1998) indicate that student involvement in community activities and volunteer works have positive effects on their personal and academic development both during and after school. Research seems to confirm that volunteer experience is a learning process and can bring about positive changes in volunteer tourists (Broad, 2003; Lepp, 2008; McIntosh & Zahra 2007; Palacios, 2010; Scheyvens, 2002; Wearing 2001). Filling some of these gaps within the published literature therefore guides the present study. By examining the factors motivating Taiwanese students to volunteer overseas and what they learned from the experiences, the study shows how volunteer tourism is not a purely western phenomenon, still less a form of neo-colonialism, and it focuses on education/teaching not environmentalism – though it follows the literature in its emphasis on volunteer tourism motivation rather than the outcome for the service area.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The main purpose of this study was two-fold: to explore motives for Taiwanese students to volunteer overseas and what they have learned from the trip. Using inductive content analysis, this study identified motivation factors based on a push and pull theory and further grouped motivation factors and gains from the trip into egoistic or altruistic aspect. This study only addresses one of the many angles in volunteer tourism, especially motivations of volunteer oversea and benefits gained from the experience from Asian students, shown how volunteer tourism is not a purely western phenomenon, still less a form of neo-colonialism, and it focuses on education/teaching not environmentalism. The three pull factors extracted were: expecting challenge, validating personal perceptions of the place, and getting to know local residents and experiencing the life in a foreign culture. The seven push factors identified as underlying dimensions were: escaping from daily life to reorganize and relax, looking for new ways of life and self exploration, a desire to give back, making friends who share a common interest, a less expensive way of traveling, encouragement by others, and parental compulsion. All above-mentioned motivations could be categorized into egoistic and altruistic factors. Egoistic factors include expecting challenge, validating personal perceptions of the place, and getting to know local residents and experiencing the life in a foreign culture, escaping from daily life to reorganize and relax, looking for new ways of life and self exploration, making friends who share a common interest, a less expensive way of traveling, encouragement by others, and parental compulsion. Only a desire to give back is an altruistic factor. In addition, this study identified what Taiwanese students have learned from the trip in the egoistic and altruistic aspects. In the egoistic aspect, their gains include: have a better attitude to learning, cope with things in an active attitude, be willing to hear and respect different voices, appreciate a slower life pace, have an opener mind, and learn to control material desire. In the both egoistic and altruistic aspect, their gains include: learn to communicate better, manage stress better, be more generous and develop empathetic skills, have trust in co-workers and to admit deficiencies, and show an appreciation of what they have. Among the motivation factors, “getting to know local residents and experiencing the life in a foreign culture” and “trying to give back” are the main factors that drove most participants to take part in this trip. Results also revealed that volunteers would visit nearby villages, climb mountains, and have some sightseeing in their spare time. This shows that they wanted to learn more about the culture and environment of the service area. Besides, the learning experiences that these participants gained from the trip had positive influence on their academic development, daily life, and future career. The results have some implications for the tourism industry practitioners, related service providers, and NGOs. Knowing push and pull factors allow program planners concerned with volunteer tourism (NGOs, tour industry, university associations) develop and organize effective programs to serve participants and the disadvantaged around the world well. Volunteer tour service providers can offer leisure tour packages with a part of their vacation working at the destination. University associations or NGOs can also rely on the expertise of the tour service providers to plan trips that consist mainly volunteering and some traveling. In addition, volunteer participants should be instructed in advance about the meanings of volunteering overseas, the mission of the program, the needs of the service area, and the knowledge and skills that they should possess. Such preparations can increase the volunteers' service quality and efficiency and also make their trip more meaningful. It would also motivate volunteers to dedicate themselves to volunteer works and respect different cultures. It is believed that such trips can attract participation of more youths and allow them to gain a wider variety of experiences. Although comparing motivations between Eastern and Western volunteers is not the main purpose of this study, this study found little difference between these Taiwanese volunteers and Western ones. A plausible explanation is that most parents of the participants have a good socio-economic background. Many of them are university professors, corporate executives, lawyers, teachers or public servants. With encouragement from relatives or friends and financial support from parents, the participants could experience a foreign culture and provide services to disadvantaged people literally with no worry at all. Information is easily accessible in Taiwan. Adolescents can learn about the latest events in the world through various media. Besides, the government, school associations, and NGOs in Taiwan have been active in promoting youth overseas volunteer programs and arranging sharing of volunteering experiences by predecessors in campus. Students have numerous opportunities to know that they can have interactions with international societies and expand their horizons on global issues through overseas volunteer programs. All the above reasons are motives for students to volunteer overseas. On the basis of the participants in this study, the reasons for partaking seem to have been more “volunteer-minded” than “vacation-minded”. The research results seem to illustrate Pearce and Coghlan's (2008) argument that Gen Yers have more concern for global issues and sustainability issues. Besides, the empirical findings also suggest that there is no clear distinction between Western and Eastern youths in their assistance and care for remote and disadvantaged communities. Finally, what is the impact of volunteer tourism activity on the service area? Each year, several Taiwanese volunteer teams will enter the service area studied in this research from June to August, and each team will stay in the area for two weeks. The entry and exit of the teams may cause some impact on the local people. The students in the service area will be particularly affected, because they are forced to get used to different volunteers. Most participants will use interesting and innovative teaching methods to let the students know that learning can be fun and easy. While all participants will leave in two weeks, the students have to adapt themselves to new teaching methods all the time. They have repetitive experiences of saying goodbye to volunteers and adjusting themselves from June to August each year. The author found through introspection that we seem to care only about how volunteers can gain different life experiences, growth, and harmony with family but pay little attention to what impact volunteers may bring to the students and teachers in the service area. For instance, the students need to adjust their learning pace after departure of the volunteers, and their teachers may also be forced to adjust their teaching skills. All these could have a tremendous impact on the service areas.