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ERIC Number: EJ1099446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
The Impact of Study Abroad Experiences on Vocational Identity among College Students
Kronholz, Julia F.; Osborn, Debra S.
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v27 p70-84 Apr 2016
The purpose of this study was to determine preliminary findings regarding the effect of a study abroad experience on vocational identity and career decision-making as defined by Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) theory (Sampson et al., 2004). The results revealed that a study abroad experience significantly impacts college students' self-knowledge such as interests, values, and skills, and the capacity to relate self-knowledge to career options. Findings also suggest that following a study abroad experience, students possess a more positive outlook on their career options and report having a clearer picture of career goals, interests, and talents, or vocational identity. These results are consistent with previous findings, which indicate that study abroad shapes personal and career development among college students (Chapman, 2011; Dwyer & Peters, 2004; Orahood, Kruze & Pearson, 2004; Orahood, Woolf, & Kruze, 2008). Specifically, this investigation confirms previous findings of the study abroad experience positively influencing the development of decision-making factors that impact vocational identity. This study also reveals that cognitive information processing (CIP) theory (Sampson et al., 2004) is an appropriate and useful theoretical framework to explore the relationship between study abroad and career decision-making. Career practitioners and international educators should consider collaborating to help students critically engage in their study abroad experience in a judicious manner. Pre-departure workshops that focus on the development of a career-related study abroad plan might more actively involve students in their growth of self-knowledge or options knowledge. Such a plan could provide students with a greater level of personal responsibility and awareness in their career development process.
Descriptors: Study Abroad, College Students, Student Experience, Career Choice, Self Concept, Vocational Interests, Identification (Psychology), Career Development, Theories, Change, Student Surveys, Mixed Methods Research, Correlation
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site: http://www.frontiersjournal.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A