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ERIC Number: EJ1099474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Keep Calm and Go Abroad: The Effect of Learning Abroad on Student Mental Health
Bathke, Amber; Kim, Ryoka
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v27 p1-16 Apr 2016
Student mental health is a significant concern on US college campuses, however, what happens when those campuses go global? The experience of those who work in the international education field suggests that the percentage may be even higher than on campus, since culture shock, homesickness, and stress can trigger anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions, especially in students who have struggled previously with such concerns. Do statistics support this anecdotal evidence? How does mental health during study abroad vary across populations? Very little empirical data exist to provide guidance on this subject. Therefore, the Learning Abroad Center and University Counseling and Consulting Services at the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities conducted a research project to determine the following: (1) An overall picture of student mental health while abroad; (2) Percentage of students studying abroad who reported experiencing a diagnosed mental health condition while abroad; (3) The nature of these diagnosed mental health conditions; (4) Frequency of relapse/recurrence of existing conditions while abroad; (5) Frequency and type of treatment received; and (6) Local attitude toward mental health conditions. The research was conducted by means of an online survey administered by the University of Minnesota's Office of Measurement Services. Overall, students reported good mental health while abroad. This research was useful for providing general insight into student mental health while studying abroad. These findings serve as reassurance that overall, students are maintaining good mental health while abroad. While the theory that going abroad may actually lead to improved mental health upon return as a result of coping skills, confidence, problem solving skills, and independence gained while abroad certainly requires further study, it is an encouraging avenue that could have great impact on the way colleges talk about, promote and recruit for study abroad in the future.
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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A