There are many study abroad programs available to American students each year. Each program is designed to provide certain benefits and results for the students who participate. Each student who embarks upon a study abroad program does so with specific intentions. It is the intention of this research to establish the goals of students participating in specific types of study abroad programs, and whether or not those programs met their needs. Each study, survey, and analysis leads to as many questions as it does answers. Patterns exist in the data gathered. Cultural awareness, a sense of fulfillment, and unique experiences are the most highly reported benefits. Increased non-linguistic knowledge, a new sense of self, and new friends were also highly reported benefits. Another important result is the percentage of students who reported gaining professional experience while abroad. This was not reported as goal by very many students. It is certainly not what most students hope to achieve while abroad. Despite the many benefits, the number of goals reported by a high percentage of students. It is clear, therefore, that the reasons students go abroad are not always in line with the reasons study abroad exists. Despite this disconnect students can still reap great reward from their time abroad.
Semester/Year of Award
Michele T. Gore
Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work
Restricted Access Thesis
Languages, Cultures, and Humanities
Department Name when Degree Awarded
Foreign Languages and Humanities
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)
Capella, Melissa, "Unexpected Benefits of Study Abroad" (2012). Honors Theses. 41.