Date of Award

5-3-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Abstract

Study abroad has become increasingly popular over the years. More students are making it part of their higher education every year, and while long-term study abroad used to be the only option, short-term study abroad is now becoming a viable option. And although the literature has outlined why students go abroad and how their experiences impact them for years afterward, there is little offered in way of how motivations impact the experiences that change these students. By sending a survey to 601 undergraduates at Lehigh University, this study seeks to answer the question of how motivation may differ between short-term and long-term participants, how this impacts their experiences, and how their experiences determine the outcomes. While there seems to be no difference in motivation, there is a significant difference in experience between long-term and short-term study abroad participants. And while experience has no impact on global awareness activities and leadership confidence, it does significantly influence readjustment and change upon arrival back in America. These findings can be used to help study abroad offices around the country tailor their programs to students' wants and create programs to help adjustment back into the college and America in general.

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