Study Abroad is for Me?
Comparing Minority and Majority Student Perceptions of Study Abroad
Mya Fisher, University of Wisc...
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NAFSA final poster print

Published on: Mar 3, 2016

Transcripts - NAFSA final poster print

  • 1. Study Abroad is for Me? Comparing Minority and Majority Student Perceptions of Study Abroad Mya Fisher, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Sociology WHY STUDY DECISION-MAKING?  Study abroad decision-making is a multidimensional process.  Perceptions shape student engagement with study abroad.  Perceptions mediate decisions about study abroad. Study abroad professionals can more effectively and efficiently target students for participation if they understand how they make decisions. OBJECTIVES This study aims to understand how:  students perceive study abroad.  perceptions shape the decision-making process. FINDINGS SUMMARY  Students responses support common perceptions of study abroad – Europe, white students, and a personal growth opportunity. SUPRISINGLY,  Minority/Majority students differ on the importance of study abroad.  Minority students believe studying abroad is not an essential or integral part of their college experience.  Majority students do not believe studying abroad is necessary for future success.  Minority/Majority students agree that study abroad is expensive/costly. HOWEVER,  Minority/majority students decide not to go abroad for different reasons.  Minority students think study abroad has a negative impact on their personal relationships.  Majority students consider study abroad as negatively impacting their academic progress/time to graduation. Idea of Study Abroad Study Abroad Decision-Making RESEARCH APPROACH  an online survey – some free response questions  139 UW-Madison undergraduate students  grounded theory analysis WHAT IS STUDY ABROAD? MAJORITY and MINORITY STUDENTS AGREE!!  “Fun times,” “adventurous,” “a “wonderful opportunity”  “best thing you can do in college”  “Travelling on trains around Europe” “France” “Spain” …elite, wealthy kids, white…” “supplementing one’s education with cultural [knowledge] that would be crucial, beneficial…that could not otherwise be obtained.” IS STUDY ABROAD IMPORTANT? WHY NOT STUDY ABROAD? YES NO  “….would be great if every student could have the chance to experience it…” ‘’s important to have experience travelling without your family, whether it be study abroad through a university or whether it be just travelling on your own…” “…to experience life outside the bubble of the U.S.”  “…will be fruitful to our academic experience…” “…I do not think it is a requirement of a good education.” ‘Although important, I do not see is as necessary unless my major or minor specialty requires it.”  “I don’t think it is an essential part of the college experience, and those who can’t participate…shouldn’t feel as if they are going to be behind…” “I do not think UW students need to study abroad to be successful people…it is not particularly important for UW students to do before they graduate.” * indicates minority student response* COSTS OF STUDY ABROAD  “A long period of time without seeing my family or boyfriend.”  “I don’t like being away from things I am comfortable with.”  “Missing out on a semester or year at a great university. I am comfortable at with friends and family close by.”  “My parents would probably be against it.”  “[It doesn’t fit into my] schedule. I don’t want to fall behind with required classes.”  “Doing so would delay graduation.” MOVING FORWARD Perceptions impact the various dimensions of student decision-making.  Future research should explore how these dimensions particularly shape decision-making for majority and minority students. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This poster would not be possible without the help of my writing group who gave constructive feedback during the data analysis and poster development portions of this project. I also want to think my advisor John Delamater, for his support and encouragement in pursuing this project. I’d also like to thank the UW-Madison student participants. WHAT STUDENTS SAY FIVE A’s MODEL of STUDY ABROAD PARTICIPATION YES Awareness Attainment Perceptions Anxiety Study Abroad Acclimation Approval NO Asian Black Latino Other White 8 9 3 6 113

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