To See the World or Stay at Home: Applying an Integrated Student Choice Model to Explore the Gender Gap in the Intent to Study Abroad

Abstract

Although interest in study abroad has grown consistently in recent decades, study abroad professionals and higher education scholars have been unable to explain or rectify the long-standing gender gap in study abroad participation. This study applies an integrated model of the student-choice construct to explore differences between male and female intent to study abroad. Results indicate that, not only can various forms of social and cultural capital predict student decisions about curricular opportunities during college such as study abroad, but gender plays a substantial role in altering the ways in which those forms of capital shape student decisions differently. These findings present a range of implications for researchers interested in better understanding the decision making process of college students as well as study abroad professionals and national policymakers intent on narrowing the gender gap in study abroad participation.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a generous grant from the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College to the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education at The University of Iowa.

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Salisbury, M.H., Paulsen, M.B. & Pascarella, E.T. To See the World or Stay at Home: Applying an Integrated Student Choice Model to Explore the Gender Gap in the Intent to Study Abroad. Res High Educ 51, 615–640 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-010-9171-6

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Keywords

  • College students
  • Study abroad
  • Gender differences
  • Student choice construct
  • Intent