More Is Better: The Impact of Study Abroad Program Duration


  • Mary M. Dwyer



Study Abroad, Impact, Duration


This study, conducted by IES in late 2002, was designed to measure the longitudinal correlations between specific program features—language study, housing choice, duration of study, enrollment in foreign university courses, participation in an internship or field study, among others—and a variety of student outcomes. A 54-year-old, not-for-profit, academic consortium, IES regularly conducts formative and summative evaluations of its programs, surveying students both during and immediately after their study abroad experiences. This longitudinal study was undertaken with the intent of comparing end of academic term evaluation results with longitudinal results. Only through such a retrospective longitudinal study could the sustainability of results, the effects of program design, and the impact of shifts in student participation patterns be assessed.


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Author Biography

Mary M. Dwyer

Mary Dwyer is President of IES, the Institute for the International Education of Students. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois. She was a faculty member in the College of Medicine, and served as Executive Vice Chancellor as well, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is now Vice-Chair of The Forum on Education abroad and chairs the NAFSA Co-Op Grant Review Committee. The U.S. Congress recently appointed her to serve on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Commission.


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How to Cite

Dwyer, M. M. (2004). More Is Better: The Impact of Study Abroad Program Duration. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 10(1), 151–164.