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Perceived Effects of a Mid-length Study Abroad Program

Description: The focus of the study was the University of Dallas’ Rome Program, a mid-length study abroad program on the university’s campus in Rome, Italy. The program is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to encounter firsthand Western tradition by integrating the core curriculum through classroom teachings and class excursions, thus solidifying the foundation of the participants’ undergraduate education. Beyond this purpose, the Rome Program does not operate from established goals and objectives for student experience. I consulted relevant research literature to construct a schema of domains of development appropriate to this qualitative study. These domains were intellectual development, global perspective, career development, and spiritual development. I interviewed 20 University of Dallas seniors who participated in the mid-length study abroad program between fall 2009 and spring 2011, using an extended, semi-structured interview protocol. The participants included 11 females and 9 males; 19 White and 1 Hispanic. The findings were supported by subsequent review by 4 of the interviewed students. I found generally strong but inconsistent support for student development in each of the domains. A number of sub-themes are reported. Through the interviews, an additional theme of personal development emerged and is reported. Although the findings generally support the conclusion that the Rome Program is successful, good education practice leads to a recommendation of more explicit setting of goals by higher education program planners and administrators. Such goal setting provides rationale for program construction, provides students with their own goal framework, and establishes a tangible framework for ongoing program evaluation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Corbin, Jill K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Perceived Value Among Employers of College Study Abroad for Engineers

Description: Engineering graduates of the twenty-first century must be worldly and understand how to work with professionals from many cultures on projects that cross international boundaries. Increasingly, employers are finding that prospective employees who have studied abroad make better, more rounded candidates than those who have no life experience outside of their home region. The objective of this study was to determine whether engineering students who participate in a major-specific, study abroad experience are more desirable as candidates for employment than those who only study at their home institution. This descriptive study surveyed the membership of the combined Industrial Advisory Boards of the University of North Texas College of Engineering (n=90) which is a focused group of skilled managers and directors that represent various businesses, industries and organizations. The survey yielded a 58% response rate. The evaluation was validated by a survey that searched for a perceptual trend among representatives from business and industry who are in a hiring capacity for engineering graduates, evaluating a major-specific study abroad experience as part of a graduate’s employability and career growth. Statistical Analysis was made on Companies whose scope of business is domestic and international comparing the perceived value of study abroad as a characteristic for hiring new engineers, as well as comparing the perceived value of foreign study or work experience on the career development of engineers. These tests indicated that at the 0.05 level there was no statistical significance in the findings. Additional analysis was made on groups of employees that either had foreign experience (work or study) and those that did not. These tests indicated that there was no statistical significance in the findings. Analysis of the data indicates that although having a major specific study abroad experience may not be important at the entry level, it becomes more important as ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Heiden, Christopher H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immersion Librarianship: An assessment of transforming LIS students' professional worldview through a service learning project at an international school library

Description: This paper was presented at the 2017 IFLA World Library and Information Congress. This paper contains a summary of the study to discern what students learned from a library and information science service learning study abroad program to Russia in 2012.
Date: June 21, 2017
Creator: Walczyk, Christine & Schultz-Jones, Barbara
Partner: UNT College of Information

Perceived Impacts of a Study Abroad Experience on In-Service Teachers' Practices

Description: This phenomenological multiple case study provides the details, reasoning, and discussion of the role of study abroad experience and its perceived impact(s) on three in-service teachers. Two research questions were posed: What are the perceived impacts on in-service teachers' practice of a study abroad program experience and how does the in-service teacher's perception of impact change over time within a teacher's career? Results of this study suggest that the teaching practice of in-service teachers who study abroad would benefit, especially in the area of intercultural competence, if this experience is structured in a way where the curriculum of the study abroad program aligns with the content of their future teaching assignment i.e. curricular bridging. Case evidence further suggests that long-term impact of a study abroad experience upon a teacher's practice is related to providing the future teacher an opportunity for to develop and maintain pedagogical relationships with students while abroad. The term ‘submersion' is introduced to help articulate depth of impact during a study abroad program experience.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Felts, Mark T
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Student Learning on a Short-term, Faculty-led Study Abroad Course Through a Student Development Lens

Description: Embarking on a study abroad experience is thought to be a transformational experience for students, and previous researchers have tended to find that the potential benefits of study abroad experiences, including greater conceptual and behavioral intercultural competence, are greater with longer periods abroad. The purpose of this study was to create an intentional learning experience for students who embarked on a short-term study abroad in rural areas of China and to apply faculty intervention of a student development approach to student learning to create a high-impact learning environment for students centered on a service-learning project. This qualitative study gathered primary data from students and instructors during the course through a collection of observation and field notes, student journals, pre- and post-construct tests, and final presentation. Follow-up interviews were conducted 10 months after course completion. Six students participated in this course and study who were from a variety of disciplines and classifications. Five students were female; one was male. Four students were undergraduates; two were graduate students. Student ethnicities included three Caucasians and African American, along with two international students from Mexico and Iran. Key outcomes of this study were that when short-term study abroad faculty members applied creative interventions, students were transformed with regard to their beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors and that when they guided students through a process of reflection and analysis, students exhibited exponential personal development. In addition, the ability to challenge or support students in reaching higher levels of personal development is a privilege that faculty must earn over time and through an authentic demonstration of care for students’ wellbeing. Short-term study abroad faculty members can use the results of this study to maximize the developmental impact of such programs on student participants.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Garcia, Hope F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Study Abroad and Student-Athlete Choice

Description: The focus of this case study was a study abroad program for student-athletes at a high academically achieving, small liberal arts college in the mid-west region of the United States. The program is designed to maintain a culture of internationalism and multiculturalism by exposing as many student-athletes as possible to study abroad. I reviewed literature to extract an appropriate theoretical framework along with variables that aligned with the purpose of the study; structural and organizational characteristics of the institution, student's background and pre-college traits, interaction with agents of socialization and institutional environment, and quality of effort. I used the semi-structured interview process to interview 9 senior student-athletes (3 female, 6 male; 7 White, 1 African American/White, 1 Chilean/White) who participated in study abroad during the 2015-2016 academic school year at the researched institution and to interview 5 administrators who facilitate the athletic department at the institution. I found that certain critical elements emerged as necessary to create and maintain a study abroad program geared specifically to the needs of the student-athlete population. I also found strong implications for adaptable elements that could generate opportunities for student-athletes to study abroad at a higher rate. These elements serve as a recommended framework and set of initial guidelines for student-athletes and athletic departments nationwide.
Date: May 2017
Creator: O'Neil, Chaunte' LaJoyce
Partner: UNT Libraries

Changes in Social Distance Among American Undergraduate Students Participating in a Study Abroad Program in China

Description: As the world becomes increasingly interdependent, mutual understanding becomes increasingly important. Therefore, it is essential that people strive for reductions in social distance on an international level. Study abroad is one of the ways to approach internationalization and promote understanding among different peoples and cultures. Prior research has been done on the degrees of social distance between people from different cultures; however, little research has been done regarding changes that cultural immersion produces among those who reside in different cultures. Studies about study abroad programs have focused on cultural sensitivity and adaptability, yet few have combined the study abroad experience with the perceptions of self and other cultural groups. This study presents a framework for understanding people through intercultural activities. It studied social distance and attitude changes brought about in social distance as an artifact of cultural immersion. The study took place both in China and in the United States. It focused on the social distance among American undergraduate students who participated in a China Study Abroad program sponsored by the University of North Texas. The study measured before and after social distance of a group of American students who studied abroad in China. The study abroad program itself was the intervention and lasted for three weeks. A mixed methods research design was used in the study. Social distance data were collected before and after students studied abroad in China. Both inferential statistics and descriptive statistics were used. Qualitative data were also collected and analyzed in the study. Most of the sample population were close to the Chinese people to begin with. Some participants positively changed their social distance and attitudes towards the Chinese people after the study abroad program, even though the changes were not statistically significant. This study merits replication among randomly selected samples. Study abroad programs should ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Chen, Danxia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Participation in a study-abroad program and persistence at a liberal arts university.

Description: This study used a quasi-experimental design with 1,237 students to investigate the association between participation in a study-abroad program and persistence at a liberal arts university. The theoretical basis for the study was Tinto's Theory of Individual Departure. The independent variable of interest, also known as the treatment, was participation in the University of Dallas Rome Program during the sophomore year. The control group consisted of students who were qualified to participate in the Rome Program, but chose not to do so. The dependent variable was the number of fall and spring semesters enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Dallas post-treatment through spring 2003. Nine variables that measured background characteristics, academic integration, and social integration explained 3.8% of the variation in number of semesters enrolled post-treatment. Participation in the Rome Program explained an additional 4.2%. In all of the statistical measures examined in this study (incremental increase in R2, b weights, adjusted β weights, and structure coefficients), there was evidence of an important positive association between participation in the Rome Program and persistence. Based on the b weight in the regression equation, holding all other variables constant, students who participated in the Rome Program persisted on average .83 semesters longer post-treatment at the University of Dallas than those who did not go to Rome. Of the 1,007 students in this study who went to Rome, 96% were enrolled at the University of Dallas one semester after Rome participation and 91% were still enrolled after two semesters. This compared to 80% and 72%, respectively, for the 230 students in the control group. Of the 674 students in the study who went to Rome and had the opportunity to graduate within 4 years, 79% graduated within 4 years. This compared to 51% for the 123 students in the control group. ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Young, Denise York
Partner: UNT Libraries