Study Abroad Research

These articles describe the empirical evidence of the benefits of studying abroad.

Mulvaney, Mary Kay. The Long-Term Impact of Study Abroad on Honors Program Alumni.

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, Vol. 29 (1), 46-67. This article examines the long-term impact of study abroad within a ten-year population of Honors Program alumni at Elmhurst College. The study closely aligns with the SAGE study by focusing on self-reported behaviors that provide insights into the impact of study abroad over time in the areas of 1) education and career path, 2) domestic and international civic engagement, 3) internationally oriented leisure interests and activities, and 4) institutional loyalty. Positive long-term impact is identified in three out of the four areas. The fourth area, civic engagement and awareness, yielded mixed results that require further research.

Smith, Patricia Joanne; Mrozek, Lawrene J. Evaluating the application of program outcomes to study abroad experiences.

Honors in Practice, Vol. 12, 9-33. This article examines self-reported enrichments to the academic experiences of Schedler Honors College (University of Central Arkansas) study abroad students who studied abroad during the 2014-2015 academic year. The ex-post facto study which had a population of fifty-five students (a 95% participation rate) focused on the following three areas: experience and comfort at traveling abroad; impact of studying abroad on the Schedler Honors College’s seven program areas (of communication, critical inquiry, diversity, responsible living/ethics, interdisciplinary learning, integrative scholarship, and leadership development); and financial support. Of the College’s programmatic foci, results indicated that studying abroad had its greatest impact on students in the areas of diversity and leadership development. The researchers also found that studying abroad affected students self-efficacy as students reported that they became more comfortable traveling abroad.

Kronholz, Julia F.; Osborn, Debra S. The Impact of Study Abroad Experiences on Vocational Identity among College Students.

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, Vol. 27 (April 2016): 70-84. This study focuses on the effects of study abroad experiences on the development of students’ career decision-making and vocational identity. Using the Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) theory, the authors conclude that study abroad experiences significantly impact college students’ self-knowledge, interests, and skills that relate to career options. Their findings also suggest that following a study abroad experience, students demonstrate a more positive outlook on their career options and have clearer picture of career goals and vocational identity.

Additional options are on this Forum for International Education resource page.