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YouTube Ethnography Project

YouTube Ethnography Project

Tool Objectives:

  1. To utilize YouTube as an entertaining pedagogic resource for culture learning.
  2. To engage in a creative process of cultural exploration through video production.
  3. To understand the nature of ethnographic fieldwork, cultural representation and interpretation.

Tool Description:

YouTube.com, a free video-sharing website, has quickly become a popular way to upload, share, view, and comment on video clips. Faculty members are increasingly using the site as a pedagogic resource for everything from newsworthy events from around the world to “slice-of-life” videos that teach students about other cultures. This tool has been designed to introduce YouTube into the education abroad experience as a way to enhance students’ understanding of cultural representation and interpretation. By creating a context for students to produce and discuss short video clips grounded in principles of ethnographic inquiry, this tool can help them become more insightful, patient and introspective cultural learners.

Tool Procedures:

1.   Introduction. Provide students with a brief introduction of ethnography as a tradition in qualitative research. Show the YouTube video clip, “A Vision of Students Today” or a similar video. Facilitate a discussion of the video’s representation of contemporary students.

2.    Assignment Part One: Prior to Departure. Have students locate two video clips on YouTube that in their opinion accurately portrays an aspect of U.S. American culture and one aspect of the host culture. They should write a brief description (one page) of each video and a defense in support of its representation. As class time allows, give each student 10-15 minutes to show one of the two video clips. Most of their presentation should be given to discussing the video and its approach to cultural representation. Expect a lively debate around stereotyping. Video links and write-ups are due at the time of the presentation.

3.    Assignment Part Two: Upon Return. While abroad, students should work in pairs to create a YouTube video of one aspect of the host culture. Be prepared to suggest particular topics or limit topics to the general focus of the course. The video should be no longer than five minutes and should be uploaded to YouTube. Upon return, each pair should be given 10-15 minutes to present their video clip. The class discussion should focus on their approach to representing the host culture. Students should submit a link to their video clip and a 1-2 page reflection paper within one week of their class presentation. The reflection paper should discuss the process behind their approach to making the video and what they’ve learned about representing culture through video.

4.   Video Ethics & Etiquette.  Allot class time for a brief discussion of ethics associated with video production and public access.

Tool Evaluation:

This assignment could be worth up to 30% of the course grade: 10% for Part One and 20% for Part Two (10% for the video clip). Students should not be graded on their video production skills. Rather, grades should be based on their ability to represent and interpret an aspect of the local culture through video and their class presentations and discussion.

Tool Time Requirement:

At least three class sessions for an introduction to the assignment and for student presentations.

Tool Author(s):

A. Ogden, 2009

Tool Handouts [.doc or .docx]:
YouTube Ethnography Project Handout

Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.