Comparing Influence and Value Based on Study Abroad Program Types


  • Katy Lane Texas A&M University
  • Theresa Pesl Murphrey Texas A&M University
  • Gary Briers Texas A&M University
  • Larry Dooley Texas A&M University
  • James Lindner Auburn University
  • Christi H. Esquivel McLennan Community College



Exchange, faculty-led, global awareness, influence, value


Providing students opportunities to travel outside their home country to engage new cultures and perspectives increases global awareness and desirable workplace skills. Students are most influenced to go abroad by cost, course(s), length, and destination, and by family, peers, and advisors. This study examined data from 1,807 students at a U.S. university who participated in faculty-led, exchange, or provider programs over three years. We described students’ personal characteristics, influences on going abroad, value derived, and perceptions of safety. Statistically significant relationships between program type and participant characteristics were found. Principal influencers on students’ pursuit of global experiences included the study abroad website, faculty members, and former student participants. Their perceived value of study abroad was high. Participants believed their experience was a good investment and would recommend it to others. These results may assist education abroad professionals in their engagement with various student populations to encourage and enable global experiences.

Abstract in Spanish

Brindar a los estudiantes oportunidades para viajar fuera de su país de origen para involucrarse en nuevas culturas y perspectivas aumenta la conciencia global y las habilidades laborales deseables. Los estudiantes se ven más influenciados para viajar al extranjero por el costo, los cursos, la duración y el destino, así como por la familia, los compañeros y los asesores. Este estudio examinó datos de 1.807 estudiantes de una universidad de los Estados Unidos que participaron en programas dirigidos por profesores, de intercambio o de proveedores durante tres años. Describimos las características personales de los estudiantes, sus influencias al viajar al extranjero, los valores derivados y las percepciones de seguridad. Se encontraron relaciones estadísticamente significativas entre el tipo de programa y las características de los participantes. Los principales influyentes en la búsqueda de experiencias globales por parte de los estudiantes incluyeron el sitio web de estudios en el extranjero, miembros del cuerpo docente y ex estudiantes participantes. El valor percibido de estudiar en el extranjero era alto. Los participantes creyeron que su experiencia fue una buena inversión y la recomendarían a otros. Estos resultados pueden ayudar a los profesionales de la educación en el extranjero en su compromiso con diversas poblaciones estudiantiles para fomentar y permitir experiencias globales.


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Author Biographies

Katy Lane, Texas A&M University

Katy Lane is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at Texas A&M University and Director of the Center for International Business Studies at Mays Business School. Her research focuses on global high-impact experiences and cross-cultural learning. She has more than 15 years of experience in international education, including the creation of new programs and initiatives, providing oversight for outreach and risk management, and leading programs in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

Theresa Pesl Murphrey, Texas A&M University

Theresa Pesl Murphrey is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on teaching and learning, evaluation, and change to address educational and learning issues, develop best practices, and maximize learning. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. With more than 20 years of experience in eLearning and curriculum development, she has participated in projects totalling over $4 million.

Gary Briers, Texas A&M University

Gary Briers is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications at Texas A&M University. His work centers on rural and agricultural development and he has been a faculty member at Texas A&M University for nearly 40 years. One of his current projects centers on developing global competence through direct, purposeful experiences in developing countries; in turn, those experiencing a new context are providing agricultural skills to lesser-educated people.

Larry Dooley, Texas A&M University

Larry Dooley is an Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Educational Administration & Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on servant leadership in international organizations, training and development and international agricultural development. Post retirement he continues to collaborate as an external evaluator for NSF and USDA grant proposals. His consulting company, The TECH Training Group has numerous clients providing services in customized training, evaluation, coaching & leadership and human development.

James Lindner, Auburn University

James Lindner is an Alumni Professor of Agriscience Education at Auburn University. He has established a national reputation as a rigorous scholar and prolific author focusing on planning and needs assessment, and research, measurement, and analysis in the context of distance education. He has authored or co-authored over 200 research papers. He has been principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or collaborator for over 50 projects totaling over $5.0 million.

Christi H. Esquivel, McLennan Community College

Christina H. Esquivel is Division Chair of Business Programs at McLennan Community College. She has also served as a faculty member in the area of applied economics for more than twenty years. Her research focuses on teaching and learning especially as it relates to undergraduates. Christi has served on various higher education committees related to teaching and learning, participated in grant projects, and served as a supporting author on various peer reviewed publications.


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How to Cite

Lane, K., Murphrey, T. P., Briers, G., Dooley, L., Lindner, J., & Esquivel, C. (2024). Comparing Influence and Value Based on Study Abroad Program Types. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 36(1), 624–639.



Research Articles