The Long-term Personal and Professional Impacts of Participating in Study Abroad Programs
Keywords:Study abroad, Civic engagement, Gender, Academic major, Short term, Long-term, Personal development, Professional development, Education abroad
This study investigates the impact of a semester abroad on students’ personal development through the lenses of gender, academic major, and length of time elapsed since study abroad experience. Using quantitative data from an online survey of 354 alumni and qualitative data from interviews with 30 of those respondents, the study analyzed the self-reported impact of a semester abroad on alumni’s attitudes, professional goals, ongoing civic engagement, and multicultural/international interest. Although no statistically significant differences emerged in the impact of a semester abroad between male and female respondents, several differences did emerge in respondents based on their academic major and the length of time elapsed since their experience abroad.
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