Study Abroad: Benefits, Concerns, Who Goes and Why?


  • Lydia Gan University of North Carolina at Pembroke
  • Zhixin Kang University of North Carolina at Pembroke



Study abroad, intercultural education, motivation, enhanced cultural experience, student demographics


The objective of the research is to investigate if certain demographics of students help explain four areas of potential improvements in predominantly short-term study abroad programs. These areas are motivation, experience enhancement, benefits from various learning activities, and students’ concerns regarding their experience. Pre-trip and post-trip surveys were conducted using logistic regression model. Our results showed that participants of a longer-term program were more likely than those in the short-term program to be expanded in their cultural understanding and global outlook. In contrast to many studies, males were found to be more motivated than females by a desire to experience foreign culture. Students with a higher GPA were found to have a more enhanced academic experience than those with a lower GPA. Finally, participants from a monocultural background were found to have a more culturally enhanced experience than the multicultural ones. The results will help improve the quality of study abroad programs.


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Author Biographies

Lydia Gan, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Lydia Gan is currently a professor of Economics at University of North Carolina at Pembroke, U.S.A. Her main research areas are in medical tourism, consumer profiling, and internet pricing. Her research has appeared in Review of Applied Economics, Academy of Economics and Finance Journal, Healthcare Marketing Quarterly, Journal of Vacation Marketing, Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, and Information and Management.

Zhixin Kang, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Zhixin Kang is a professor of quantitative methods at University of North Carolina at Pembroke, U.S.A. His research is in the field of applied statistics. His research work has been published in Communications in Statistics - Theory and Methods, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Statistics and Its Interface, Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, Applied Financial Economics, International Journal of Electronic Finance, and Journal of Capital Markets Studies, among others.


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How to Cite

Gan, L., & Kang, Z. (2022). Study Abroad: Benefits, Concerns, Who Goes and Why?. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 34(4), 206–240.



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