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ERIC Number: EJ1061999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
The Effects of Affect on Study Abroad Students
Savicki, Victor
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v22 p131-147 Win 2012-Spr 2013
Being a study abroad student is not all sweetness and light. By definition, study abroad students are faced with acculturative stress (Berry, 2005) by virtue of encountering differences in assumptions, values, and expectations of daily living in their host culture. Add to that the usual challenge of hearing and speaking a different language, and the study abroad experience can jangle even the most robust of students. On the plus side, the encounter with "differentness" can set the stage for a more open, ethnorelative (Bennett, 1993), and interculturally competent individual (Deardorff, 2008). As Bennett (2008) indicates as one of her five "Foundation Principles" for developing intercultural competence, "disequilibrium need not lead to dissatisfaction" (p. 17). In fact, "dynamic disequilibrium" (Joyce, 1984) may allow students to unfreeze their typical mindsets in order to encourage alternate points of view. However, a somewhat unexamined question concerns the consequences for students when disequilibrium edges over into discontent, distress or dejection. What are the effects of negative affective reactions to the study abroad situation? Well described phenomena such as culture shock (Ward, Bochner, & Furnham, 2001), anxiety/uncertainty (Gudykunst, 1995), or inter-group contact anxiety (Frey & Tropp, 2006) test students' coping abilities, especially when they are removed from habitual sources of emotional support and problem resolution. Overcoming hardships and culture clashes are the essence of students' exclamations that study abroad has changed their lives (Selby, 2008). But what are the consequences when these challenges provoke extended negative affect? This study attempts to describe possible outcomes. Prior to presenting a research study addressing these issues, a brief review of key concepts will be offered.
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Argentina
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Brief Symptom Inventory