NAFSA final poster print
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - NAFSA final poster print
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
This study aims to understand how:
students perceive study abroad.
perceptions shape the decision-making process.
Students responses support common perceptions of study abroad –
Europe, white students, and a personal growth opportunity.
Minority/Majority students differ on the importance of study
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
Minority/majority students decide not to go abroad for different
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.
Study Abroad Decision-Making
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?
“….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
“…to experience life outside the bubble
of the U.S.”
“…will be fruitful to our academic
“…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
“Doing so would delay graduation.”
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.
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
Perceptions Anxiety Study Abroad
Asian Black Latino Other White
8 9 3 6 113