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ERIC Number: ED528480
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 347
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-6536-5
When Worlds Collide: Evaluating the Impact of Short-Term Study Abroad Programs
Sato, Deirdre Colby
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University
The purpose of this study was to determine whether and how short-term study abroad programs transform college students' perspectives. The study examined attitudes about host country and international outlook, as well as intellectual, social and personal understandings. Short-term programs were defined as programs of less than a semester or a quarter in duration. Thirty-four research questions were developed to determine the influence of these programs on subsequent academic choices, career, personal and social development, host country knowledge and attitudes and global perspectives. Data was collected from 111 alumni of five-week summer programs in China, France, Italy and Spain, between one and five years after program participation, using Internet and paper surveys. Qualitative data was collected from twelve alumni, as well as the faculty directors of each program, via interviews. Results indicated that the programs had some influence on academic choices and career development, but more influence on personal and social development. Areas most influenced included self-confidence, self-awareness, maturity and receptivity to conflicting opinions and attitudes, as well as the complexity of international outlook. Adjustment stress upon return was found to have more influence on attitude change than stress experienced while in the host country. The type of housing provided to students was not shown to have a significant impact on attitude change about the host country, or on global perspectives. While not anticipated and not controlled for, it is of interest that the students' identity as Americans abroad, in light of U.S. government policies post 9/11, were generally considered the biggest challenge by the alumni. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; France; Italy; Spain; United States