ERIC Number: ED341916
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
The Impact of Study Abroad on University Students' Perceptions of Self.
Juhasz, Anne McCreary; Walker, Aldona M.
Study abroad is an attractive alternative for university students, but with increasing costs and decreasing dollar values administrators must take a closer look at program outcomes as they relate to institutional values and goals. The project reported here focuses on self-development, specifically the effect of study abroad on student self-esteem and self-efficacy relative to program goals. Measures developed to investigate this question were used by students (N=70) to reflect pre- and post-study experience to determine if their feelings of worth and confidence in their competence were influenced by time abroad. Students were enrolled in an American liberal arts program in Italy, for either a full year or a single semester. The major findings indicated that at completion of the time abroad students had changed considerably in their perceptions of their ability to perform specific behaviors. This was interpreted as a positive outcome reflecting increased self-understanding, objectivity, and a more realistic evaluation of one's own capabilities and behaviors. Friends assumed the greatest significance for a majority of students. Those who remained in Italy for a full academic year were able to realize to a greater extent the goals of the program than were those who returned to America after a single semester. For program planners and administrators, examination of each scale item reveals competencies which need to be further strengthened and values which could be further reinforced within a foreign cultural setting. The survey instrument is attached. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A