Toward an Understanding of Peer Influence on Undergraduate Study Abroad Participation

  • Melissa Whatley University of Georgia
Keywords: Peer influence, Student decision, Study abroad, Education abroad, Social network analysis

Abstract

This study explores the role of peer influence on students’ decisions to participate in study abroad. Although previous research has identified many factors that relate to study abroad participation, peer influence represents an underexplored factor for consideration in this line of research. Using the tools of social network analysis, this study finds a small but significant relationship between peer study abroad and a student’s participation in study abroad. Results provide food for thought about the way peers may influence students in their decisions surrounding study abroad, both directly and indirectly. This line of inquiry has important implications for education abroad professionals who seek to leverage peer influence so that students make optimal decisions 

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Author Biography

Melissa Whatley, University of Georgia

Melissa Whatley is a doctoral student in the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. She currently serves as a graduate research assistant in the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education. Her research focuses on issues of access and equity in study abroad.

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Published
2018-08-15
How to Cite
Whatley, M. (2018). Toward an Understanding of Peer Influence on Undergraduate Study Abroad Participation. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 30(3), 51-71. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v30i3.421