Assessing Global Awareness over Short-Term Study Abroad Sequence: A Factor Analysis

  • Mark Kurt
  • Neal Olitsky
  • Paul Geis
Keywords: Global awareness, Factor analysis, Short-term study abroad, Study abroad outcomes, Study abroad, Education abroad


Over the past 10 years, U.S. undergraduate participation in study abroad has increased dramatically.  The majority of these study abroad experiences have durations of less than eight weeks.  Due to the rapid growth in both of these areas, there has been increased interest in assessing student outcomes associated with short-term study abroad (STSA) programs.  This paper investigates the impact of an STSA experience on undergraduate students' levels of global awareness over the entire STSA sequence: pre-preparatory course, post-preparatory course, and post-STSA program.  We adopt and extend the measures constructed in Chieffo and Griffiths (2004),by implementing a longitudinal study across 23 separate STSA courses. Findings indicate that students’ global awareness does not change significantly after the preparatory course, but that students' levels of global awareness experience statistically significant increases along several dimensions  after completing the STSA program.  We also find that students who have completed a previous study abroad experience still benefit from an additional STSA course.


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Author Biographies

Mark Kurt

Mark R. Kurtjoined Elon University as an assistant professor of Economics in 2008. While at Elon, he has taught Economic Growth and Development, Labor Economics, and Principles of Economics. In addition, Mark has taught several short term study abroad courses including: the Business and Culture of New Zealand, MBA Abroad, and The EuroMed Experience: Turkey and Greece. His research interests include labor economics, health economics, and macroeconomics. Mark earned his Ph.D. in Economics from The University of Iowa.

Neal Olitsky

Neal H. Olitsky received his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Iowa. He currently holds a position as an assistant professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he teaches courses in economic theory, economic growth and the economics of education. His research is in the fields of labor economics and the economics of education and focuses on the economic impact of educational decisions.

Paul Geis

Paul J. Geisis the Associate Director of Study Abroad in the Isabella Cannon International Centre at Elon University. He oversees semester and summer education abroad programs in more than 30 countries and manages institutional agreements and the development of new exchange and affiliate partnerships. He collaborates with faculty on the organization of several intensive, faculty-led programs during the January and summer terms, and manages outreach to academic departments to develop study abroad plans for each major. Paul has a BA in French and an MA in Higher Education Administration from Boston College.


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How to Cite
Kurt, M., Olitsky, N., & Geis, P. (2013). Assessing Global Awareness over Short-Term Study Abroad Sequence: A Factor Analysis. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 23(1), 22-41.
Research Articles