The Impact of Short Term Study Abroad on the Identity Development of College Students with Learning Disabilities and/or AD/HD
Keywords:identity development, college students, learning disabilities, short-term study abroad, education abroad
This article explores the identity changes that college students with LD and/or AD/HD report after participating in a short-term study abroad program. The reflections of thirteen short-term study abroad participants, all of whom have been diagnosed with LD and/or AD/HD are presented. Particular attention is focused on the ways in which these identity changes impacted the students as learners and the factors unique to short-term study abroad that facilitated those identity changes. It concludes by proposing a model of identity development for students with LD and/or AD/HD and recommends methods for greater inclusion of students with LD and/or AD/HD in short-term study abroad programs. We hope that our findings will help to reframe notions about the ability and adaptability of students with LD and/or AD/HD, lower current barriers to participation in study abroad for students with LD and/or AD/HD, and contribute to the dynamic discussion currently underway about study abroad and student outcomes.
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