The MSA: An Instrument for Measuring Motivation to Study Abroad

  • Philip H. Anderson
  • Leigh Lawton
Keywords: Motivation, Study abroad, Education abroad, Measurement


This paper describes the development of a paper and pencil instrument that classifies the principal motivations for students participating in study abroad programs. While many of the factors relating to relevant program parameters are readily apparent (Engle and Engle, 2003), it is important to understand how students’ motivation for participating in a study abroad program mediates the magnitude of those gains. For research to advance on the moderating influence of student motivation, an instrument is needed to classify these motivations so that students can be sorted into appropriate categories.


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Author Biographies

Philip H. Anderson

Phil Anderson is Professor of Management at the University of St. Thomas. His primary research interests include problem based learning, the educational benefits of business simulations, and the relationship between study abroad and intercultural development. Phil has led 18 short- and long-term study abroad programs and has received training in the administration and interpretation of the IDI.

Leigh Lawton

Leigh Lawton is Professor of Statistics in the Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Department at the University of St. Thomas. His research interests have focused on the impact of study abroad programs on educational goals, problem based learning, and the educational benefits of business simulations. Leigh led a semester-at-sea program in 2001.


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How to Cite
Anderson, P. H., & Lawton, L. (2015). The MSA: An Instrument for Measuring Motivation to Study Abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 26(1), 53-67.
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