Author(s)

Charlotte Cuss

Date Approved

9-12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education

Department

Educational Services, Administration, and Higher Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Sisco, Burton

Subject(s)

Foreign study

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the study abroad experience on selected students, using a qualitative approach. The participants in this study consisted of six full-time Rowan University students, during the spring 2012 semester. All six students had studied abroad for a full academic semester, within the last calendar year. Three separate interviews were conducted to examine students' goals and motives, cultural learning, transformational learning, and alcohol use and risky behavior, in regards to study abroad. The interviews were transcribed and content analysis was used to analyze the data. The study found that all students gained cultural learning and transformation learning, but to varying extents. This learning was often prompted by one, or multiple experiences, where the students were faced with a dilemma that caused them to reassess their assumptions. Alcohol use and risky behavior was found to increase during the study abroad experience.

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