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ERIC Number: EJ1104610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8477
Mobile Students' Appraisals of Keys to a Successful Stay Abroad Experience: Hints from the IEREST Project
Van Maele, Jan; Vassilicos, Basil; Borghetti, Claudia
Language and Intercultural Communication, v16 n3 p384-401 2016
In order to provide better support for students in higher education throughout a mobility experience, it is important to understand their point of view regarding stay abroad. This paper analyzes the responses of pre-departure, while-abroad, and upon-return students of different academic backgrounds (N = 990) to an open question that asked them to name the three most essential factors for making their stay abroad experience successful. This question was part of a wider online questionnaire distributed in Europe by the IEREST project (http://ierest-project.eu). A sequential mixed-method procedure identified six themes that were frequently cited: language and communication, social contacts, practicalities, personal development, academic advantages, and travel. This paper presents a more detailed analysis of the first three themes. It shows that although language proficiency was the single most frequently mentioned aspect, students attached particular importance to aspects of personal development (in particular with respect to openness) and social contacts (crucially including friendship). These findings informed the development of teaching materials within IEREST for supporting intercultural learning in the Erasmus context and may also be relevant to educators and researchers in various other study abroad contexts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A