Research in Higher Education

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 29–56 | Cite as

Predictors of Study Abroad Intent, Participation, and College Outcomes

Article

Abstract

This study examined US undergraduate students’ intent to study abroad upon college entry and their actual participation in study abroad during their undergraduate years, correlating the college outcomes of three cohorts to identify trends. The findings show that study abroad intent and participation are interrelated and shaped by an array of factors, including gender, race or ethnicity, major, and involvement in college activities. While mathematical ability and helping to promote racial understanding negatively affected study abroad intent, aspiring to earn an advanced degree, time spent socializing with friends, artistic ability, seeking to improve understanding of other countries and cultures, and expectations to join a social fraternity or sorority, to be satisfied with college, and to participate in student clubs or groups positively influenced study abroad intent. Also, the findings indicate that involvement in the student government, a music or theater group, a political club, club sports, and off-campus study negatively affected participation in study abroad. Finally, the findings reveal that study abroad made a unique contribution to college outcomes, such as understanding moral and ethical issues, communication skills, academic performance, and overall satisfaction. Implications for higher education researchers, study abroad professionals, senior administrators, faculty advisors, and college students are discussed.

Keywords

Study abroad Study abroad intent Study abroad participation Study abroad participants College activities College outcomes 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of the ProvostDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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