Was it Actually so? : A foreign exchange student's experiences as portrayed in diaries and letters

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Ethnologia Scandinavica 25, 1995, 43-49

Title: Was it Actually so? : A foreign exchange student's experiences as portrayed in diaries and letters
Author: Snellman, Hanna
Date: 1995
Language: en
ISSN: 0348-9698
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10224/4555
Abstract: In the discussion the question of letters and diaries as source material was brought up. Even though the habit of writing letters has diminished compared to the times before the phone, fax and e-mail, in some circumstances letter writing is still common. Long distances, lack of money, and homesickness - experiences that most foreign exchange students encounter - are surely factors that accelerate one's desire to write letters. The combination of being young, living away from home and loved ones for a year and getting acquainted with a different lifestyle, usually results in piles of letters to family and friends at home. In addition to that, a feeling of estrangement and loneliness, which are also common experiences for foreign exchange students, is eased by writing diaries. Today, self-reflection is somewhat in fashion in ethnological research (Gerholm 1993; Wikdahl 1992:17). Therefore, I dared to carry out an experiment myself. This paper is based on letters and diaries I wrote before I knew I would be an ethnologist Yet this is primarily a methodological experiment with the aim of comparing two different types of source material that have been produced by one person using the evaluation of sources point of view. As far as I know, such an experiment has not been performed before.
Subject: exchange students

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