Document Type

Student Research Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Studying abroad is considered a cross-cultural experience at Elizabethtown College. The experience counts for one of two required Signature Learning Experiences (SLE) students must complete in order to graduate. However, the number of students studying abroad in traditional semester-long programs while at Elizabethtown College has declined in recent years. In addition, the cross-cultural SLE is one of the less frequently chosen options. Compared to other baccalaureate institutions of similar size, Elizabethtown College is sending a fraction of students abroad. With only 10 percent of U.S. graduates going abroad, studying abroad is a valuable experience to include on a resume or graduate school application. This research examined the perceived benefits of the Elizabethtown College study abroad program of those who have participated and those who have not. Also, this research examined the barriers preventing or discouraging students from studying abroad among the population of those who have not gone abroad. The data for this research were obtained from mixed methodology. Questionnaires were distributed to both students who have studied abroad and those who have not. Focus groups were also conducted for each group. The results showed that the main barrier to study abroad is financial. Females were also more likely than males to study abroad and saw more positive outcomes. Recommendations were developed for future use by the Study Abroad Office.

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