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ERIC Number: EJ1062069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Sociocultural Adaptation of U.S. Education Abroad Students in Greece: The Effects of Program Duration and Intervention
Antonakopoulou, Efi
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v23 p60-72 Fall 2013
There is no evidence in the literature for direct comparison of the sociocultural adaptation brought by the participation of U.S. students in education abroad programs of different lengths. This study attempts to address this gap by comparing the sociocultural adaptation of education abroad students that results from their participation in both short-term and long-term programs in the same academic institution. Searle and Ward (1990) suggested that the approach of studying sociocultural adaptation by using their SCAS questionnaire should be used in diverse cultural contexts in order to explore the cross-cultural applicability of these findings, as well as the notion of "cultural fit." This study is the first research undertaken to report on the sociocultural adaptations of U.S. students participating in education abroad programs in Greece, and to directly compare the effects of length of the education abroad on the sociocultural adaptation of U.S. students. The study examines the effects of incorporating intervention activities into the academic and co-curricular activities designed to help students prepare for, gain from, and reflect upon their term abroad as a profound global experience on their sociocultural adaptation. The hypotheses for this study are as follows: (1) The sociocultural gains achieved by the students who attend the education abroad program for long-term (three months, academic semester) will be higher than of those achieved by the students who attend the same education abroad program for short-term (four weeks, summer term); and (2) The sociocultural adaptation of those students who receive intervention will be higher than the students who receive the standard academic and co-curricular education abroad program. The results of the study suggest that both short-term and long-term education abroad programs result in comparable sociocultural adaptations for the students. In order for the students to be culturally adjusted and adapted to a new culture, well-designed intentional interventions should be incorporated to the students' academic programs and co-curricular activities. More research on the sociocultural adaptation of U.S. students taking into consideration the incorporation of other relevant to sociocultural adaptation constructs will result in a fully developed picture of the contribution of the education abroad experiences to the global cultural awareness.
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece