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Running head: STUDY ABROAD LITERATURE REVIEW

Study Abroad Literature Review


April 27, 2015
Anne Conlon
Loyola University Chicago

STUDY ABROAD LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction
Study abroad is an educational intervention which is defined as students receiving
college credit from a U.S. accredited institution after returning from studying in a foreign
country (as cited in Penn & Tanner, 2009, p. 267). With increased participation rates from
154,168 in 2000/01 to 289,408 in 2012/13, study abroad is becoming a more essential
component to American higher education (IIE, 2014). This popularity may reflect the
developmental value of study abroad and its importance in encouraging students to engage crossculturally (Milstein, 2005; Black & Duhon, 2006; Salisbury et al., 2010; Hackney et al., 2012).
As Dolby asserted, study abroad provides not only the possibility of encountering the world,
but of encountering oneself (2004, p. 150). With an increased participation rate, it is becoming
essential for student affairs practitioners to understand the developmental effects of study abroad
on students. In this literature review, study abroad literature will be critiqued through a student
development lens, which utilizes cognitive, psychosocial, identity, and holistic theories of
student development. This literature review is organized by two major themes recognized across
study abroad literature: the developmental value of study abroad and the lack of diversity in
study abroad. These major themes emerged as essential in understanding the value of study
abroad for students and recognizing the areas in which this educational intervention falls short.
The Developmental Value of Study Abroad
Overview. There is a significant amount of research which investigates the developmental value
of studying abroad and the ways in which it effects students (Milstein, 2005; Black & Duhon,
2006; Salisbury et al., 2010; Hackney et al., 2012). Research has found that students with a

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favorable interest in studying abroad exhibited lower levels or ethnocentrism, intercultural


communication apprehension, and greater interest in foreign languages (as cited in Hackney et
al., 2012). There is significant qualitative and quantitative evidence which supports study abroad
as a positive developmental experience (as cited in Salisbury et al., 2011). The literature
investigating the developmental value of study abroad focuses on personal growth,
transformation, and adaptability to a new country and culture (Milstein, 2005; Black & Duhon,
2006; Ryan & Twibell, 2000; Angulo, 2008; Langley & Breese, 2005). In addition to a students
personal growth, research has also focused on the larger questions of national identity and global
citizenry (NASULGC Task Force of International Education, 2004; Dolby, 2004; Rotabi et al.,
2006; Breen, 2012). Cognitive, psychosocial, and holistic student development theories will be
used to critique the literature focusing on the developmental value of study abroad.
Culture Shock and Self-Efficacy. Research on study abroad has often focused on culture
shock, or the stress that one experiences when adapting to a new culture (as cited in Ryan &
Twibell, 2000). While students adapt to a new environment through study abroad, they may
experience stressors and readjustments in regards to communication, environmental differences,
isolation, customs, and attitudes or beliefs (as cited in Ryan & Twibell, 2000). Coping strategies
are necessary to transition to a new environment (Ryan & Twibell, 2000). Although institutions
often highlight the benefits of study abroad, students may experience discomfort in their new
host country (Angulo, 2008; Ryan & Twibell, 2000). In addition to culture shock, students may
also experience difficulty in connecting with local people and may even experience
discrimination and prejudice as an American abroad (as cited in Angulo, 2008). Ryan & Twibell
concluded that students should reflect on the difficulties they may encounter before departure;
this could even be facilitated by staff or faculty (2000). Their findings were useful in addressing

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the difficulties that students may experience while abroad, which stresses the importance of
properly preparing students for their time abroad.
Schlossbergs Transition Theory supports the findings of Ryan & Twibell in regards to the
importance of coping skills in a period of transition. Students experience significant transition as
they participate in a study abroad program. In applying Schlossbergs Transition Theory to
culture shock described by Ryan & Twibell, it seems apt to suggest that study abroad staff must
properly orientate students to their new environment. In addition, students should be offered
psychological resources and support while in their host country. Schlossberg emphasizes the
importance of social support and strategies while encountering a transition, which further
enforces the importance of student support while abroad (as cited in Evans et al., 2010). This
holistic development in transition will aid students in the future as they encounter transition in
their post-graduate life.
In fact, self-efficacy or self-reliance can be achieved abroad, despite crisis or transition.
Milsteins qualitative research noted that 95.5% of participants surveyed reported improvement
in self-efficacy (2005). Milstein investigated self-efficacy while abroad to further quantify the
positive outcomes of living abroad (2005). Previous research has yielded such results as an
enhanced global worldview, enhanced awareness and understanding of oneself, cross-cultural
interest, and more critical attitudes of ones home country (as cited in Milstein, 2005). Although
Milsteins research provides insight on self-efficacy, the sampling is too limited. 212 participants
of the survey were teaching abroad in Japan and no demographic data was provided, beyond
their nationality (Milstein, 2005). However, Milsteins findings do further support the benefits of
cross-cultural experiences in regards to personal growth.

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Enculturation & Cross-Cultural Adaptability. Langley & Breese investigated the


enculturation process that occurs during study abroad based on Spradleys ethnographic
discovery model of enculturation (2005). Enculturation is the process of learning a culture: the
student begins with learning about the culture and concludes with internalizing a belief (as cited
in Langley & Breese, 2005, p. 314). Langley & Breese interviewed White, primarily Catholic
study abroad participants who completed a program in Ireland (2005). The results of the
enculturation process was overwhelmingly positive (Langley & Breese, 2005). Langley &
Breese recognized the limitations and wondered if such results would be collected if the students
were in a culture more diverse from their own (2005). Langley & Breese noted that the study
abroad participants cited growing independence and self-confidence from their experience
(2005). Although Langley & Breese touched on interesting aspects of the enculturation process,
their sampling was too homogenous and does not reflect the diversity of study abroad students.
Similar to Langley & Breeses research, Black & Duhon applied the Cross-Cultural
Adaptability Inventory to returning study abroad participants (2006). Students in Black &
Duhons inventory reported to have increased flexibility, openness, emotional resilience, and
personal autonomy (2006). Similar to Langley & Breese, Black & Duhons study is too limited;
they sampled 26 participants from the same summer program in London. Black & Duhon did
not provide demographic data in regards to race or ethnicity.
Langley & Breese and Black & Duhons research in regards to the enculturation and
cross-cultural adaptability process suggests that students undergo cognitive development through
study abroad. Kolbs Theory of Experiential Learning can be applied to enculturation and crosscultural adaptability. Kolb described learning as the process whereby knowledge is created

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through the transformation of experience (as cited in Evans et al., 2010, p. 138). Through the
enculturation process, students experience a new context, which leads to reflection, which leads
to ideologies shifting, which then leads to the incorporation of new ideas into action (Evans et
al., 2010, p. 139). In order to better understand cognitive development during study abroad,
research involving enculturation needs to be expanded beyond White students studying in
Western countries.
National Interest in Study Abroad. The U.S. Senate has even recognized the value of study
abroad, which is demonstrated in The Lincoln Commission. The Commission
.encourage[s] and support[s] the experience of studying abroad, particularly in developing
countries in countries whose people, culture, language, government, and religion are different
from ours (NASULGC Task Force of International Education, 2004). Furthermore, the Lincoln
Commission views study abroad as a means for mobilizing an internationally competent youth in
the globalizing twenty-first-century. Increased enrollment in study abroad in the decade
following September 11 has also spurred reflection on the significance of more young Americans
abroad. Patricia Harrison of the State Department stated, Some feared that in the wake of 9/11
young Americans would shrink from international experiencesBut as the new Open Doors
Report shows, more students are studying abroad than ever before, a sign that young Americans
clearly recognize the crucial role they will play in leading our nation into a world more
connected than it is today (as cited in Dolby, 2004, p. 153).
The United States government seems to have a vested interest in young citizens
promoting soft diplomacy abroad through their studies. In addition to the nationalistic discourse,
there is significant scholarship which investigates the meaning of the American self and

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reflection on ones national identity during a students sojourn abroad (Dolby, 2004). Dolby
asserted that, an American identity is only invigorated in a situation where students become
the other (2004, p. 162). Through a qualitative study of White study abroad participants who
studied in Australia, Dolby found that the most significant encounter while abroad was with the
American self, rather than a cross-cultural experience (Dolby, 2004). Her findings are intriguing
but do not provide insight into the experience of students of color or a non-Western host country.
Although Dolbys research was limited, Dolby touched on an important aspect of holistic
development that students may encounter in regards to their national identity. Bronfenbrenners
Theory emphasizes the importance of context in development. When a student studies abroad,
the student exits the macrosystem of the United States and enters the macrosystem of a host
country. A macrosystem is defined as the overarching pattern of micro- meso- and exosystems
characteristic of a given culture (as cited in Evans et al., 2010, p. 164). This change in
context can encourage students to develop and reflect on the macrosystem of the United States.
Breen asserted that the act of studying abroad by Americans reflects the excesses of
First-World affluence and assumes a privilege by a kind of temporary engagement with the
foreign, before returning to the normalcy of home (2012, p. 84). Breens assertions recall the
importance of a culturally sensitive approach to programming in developing countries. Rotabi et
al. emphasized, Study abroad grounded in imperialistic values can be characterized as an
oppressive practice (2006, p. 452). The sound approach to study abroad programming
emphasizes an intercultural exchange where knowledge transfer is undertaken in an equitable
and respectful manner, which encourages mutual understandings of multiple realities (as cited
in Rotabi et al., 2006, p. 452).

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Cognitive moral development can occur when a student participates in a culturally-sound


study abroad program, as suggested by Rotabi et al. and Breen. Kohlbergs Theory of Moral
Development provides insight in the ways in which study abroad programming and curriculum
can increase students moral development, such as emphasizing human rights and social welfare
(Evans et al., 2010, p. 104).
Conclusion. In conclusion, there is a significant amount of literature that supports the cognitive,
psychosocial, and holistic development of study abroad participants. However, much of the
research focused on predominantly White participant samplings and Western host countries.
With such vast limitations in research, it is difficult to conclude that study abroad would be
developmentally beneficial for all students.
The Lack of Diversity in Study Abroad Students
Overview. Study abroad literature has too often focused on all-White samplings and Western
host countries. Despite significant efforts to diversify participants in study abroad, the typical
American study abroad student has remained a White female, in her junior year of college,
majoring in a social science discipline, studying in Europe (as cited in Penn & Tanner, 2009, p.
267; Salisbury et al., 2011). The Lincoln Commission is set on democratizing study abroad by
2017 and intends for the demographics of study abroad population to be similar to the general
US undergraduate population (NASULGC Task Force of International Education, 2004).
Although students of color participation rates in higher education has increased, minority
participation rates in study abroad have not kept pace and remain substantially disproportionate
(Salisbury et al., 2010, p. 616). Not only is study abroad participation heavily White, there is
also a substantial gender gap in which women participate at a ratio of almost 2:1 (as cited in

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Salisbury et al., 2010). Scholars have investigated this disparity in order to understand
contributing factors; however, there is little research that investigates the experiences of different
identities abroad, which do not confirm to the traditional study abroad student.
Many identities have been ignored in study abroad scholarship. Research that has
focused on identity development has investigated Black participation rates (Penn & Tanner,
2009; Carroll, 1995; Day-Vines, 1998). Only recently have researchers investigated the overall
factors in demographic disparity in study abroad (Salisbury et al., 2010; Salisbury et al., 2011).
Research suggests that study abroad has the potential to improve social identity development,
although there is little significant data to show. By using social identity development theories,
one can recognize the potential development that may occur during study abroad.
Students of Color. According to the Institute of International Educations Open Doors Report
from 2012/13, 76.3% of students were White, 7.6% were Latino(a), 7.3% were Asian, Native
Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 5.3% are Black, 3% are Multiracial, and 0.5% were
American Indian or Alaska Native (IIE, 2014). Study abroad has slightly diversified over the
past decade from 84.3% White participation in 2000/01 to 76.3% White participation in 2012/13
(IIE, 2014).
Salisbury et al.s Why do All the Study Abroad Students Look Alike? Applying an
Integrated Student Choice Model to Explore Differences in the Factors that Influence White and
Minority Students Intent to Study Abroad investigated the homogeneity of study abroad
participants and its overwhelming Whiteness (2011). Salisbury et al. referred to the limitations
of previous research on students of color participation rates in study abroad (2011). Much of the
previous research, according to Salisbury et al., has been based on either casual anecdotal

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evidence or ex post facto surveys of small samples (2011, p. 125). Salisbury et al. concluded
that human, financial, social, and cultural capital greatly influenced students in their decision
whether or not to study abroad (2011). White students may have better access to such resources
and may already be aware of international educational opportunities at a younger age (Salisbury
et al., 2011).
Research concerning all students of color needs to expand. Literature concerning
Latino(a), Asian, Multiracial, or American Indian is nearly non-existent. The most scholarship
concerning study abroad students, besides White students, has focused on Black students.
Black Students in Study Abroad. In 2012/13, Black student participation rate was 5.3%, which
was one of the lowest participation rates based on ethnicity and race (IIE, 2014). Penn &
Tanners Black Students and International Education investigated Black students interest in
international education at a college-preparatory program (2009). Investigating students interest
in study abroad at the pre-collegiate level is useful; researchers have found that pre-collegiate
experiences greatly influence the students decision to study abroad or not (Salisbury et al.,
2008).
Penn & Tanner utilized Hembroff & Ruszs Minorities and oversea studies programs:
Correlates of differential participation in order to explain the lack of diversity in study abroad
(1993). Hembroff & Rusz asserted that the lack of diversity is due to students of color choice in
major; higher attrition rates for students of color; lower levels of affluence; lack of faculty of
color with international education experiences to be mentors (as cited in Penn & Tanner, 2009).
Penn & Tanner relied heavily on Hembroff & Ruszs dated study to frame their qualitative study.
Overall, Penn & Tanners qualitative study was not expansive enough to give a comprehensive

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insight into why Black students maintain a low participation rate in study abroad. Research can
be further expanded by focusing on secondary education and how it influences students,
specifically students of color, and their exposure to international educational opportunities.
Carroll investigated the perception of barriers to study abroad in students at Colorado
State University in 1995. In this qualitative study, Carroll administered a questionnaire to the
variety of ethnicities represented in the study body. Black students expressed the greatest
concern regarded their ethnicity and nationality while abroad (Carroll, 1995). Carrolls study
also demonstrated Black and Latino(a) students desire to study abroad in a country that reflects
their ethnic heritage, more so than other ethnicities (1995). Carrolls study was highly intriguing;
the results even more so. Research regarding barriers to study abroad needs to be expanded and
updated to reflect the current racial climate.
Day-Vines investigated the impact of Black students studying in Ghana and its effects on
students psychosocial development (1998). Day-Vines found that study abroad in Ghana
promoted racial identity development and academic achievement and motivation for students
(1998). Day-Vines conclusion suggests that heritage study abroad can be transformative for
Black students. This research implicated impressive results concerning Black identity
development while studying abroad in Ghana. Study abroad scholarship would benefit from
more case studies like Day-Vines research in Ghana.
Fhagen and Smiths Model of Black Identity Development could be applied to Black
students in order to better serve their social identity development through study abroad. In DayVines research, students cited their increased racial identity development. Heritage study abroad
for Black students could be a useful tool in promoting social identity development. This could

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be especially apropos for students who are experiencing the immersion-emersion stage of Fhagen
& Smiths Model of Black Identity Development. In the immersion stage, individuals become
deeply entrenchedand adopt a black nationalist of pro-black identity (Evans et al, 2010, p.
258). In the emersion stage, individuals adopt a more altruistic and authentic understanding of
black identity (Evans et al, 2010, p. 258). By experiencing a nation like Ghana, Black students
may encounter social identity development in regards to their race.
White Students as Racial Minority. The host country in which students study abroad also may
have an affect the degree of development experienced. In Gammonley et al.s study, the
researchers asserted that developing countries located in the Central America, the Caribbean,
Central Europe, and Africa increase students development in critical thinking (2007, p. 16).
Gammonley et al. approaches study abroad through a social justice lens and found that
curriculum that highlights the importance of human relationships as a vehicle for change, study
abroad can effectively promote culturally respectful engagement, which benefits both the study
abroad student and the host community (2007, p. 134).
53% of participants study abroad in Europe (IIE, 2014). This, compiled with 76.3%
White participants, one can assume a great number of White students chose to study in Europe.
White students in European countries, although still foreign, still benefit from White privilege.
However, study abroad for White students in host countries in which they are a racial minority,
may promote social identity development. Rowe, Bennett, and Atkinsons White Racial
Consciousness Model provides insight into the development which may occur while abroad. As
a racial minority for the first time outside of the United States, a White student may experience
awareness of being White and what that implies in relation to those who do not share white

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group membership (as cited in Evans et al., 2010, p. 261). Study abroad can be pivotal in
promoting white racial consciousness. There is a need for research on this topic.
Gender. Furthermore, female participants have maintained a significant stronghold in study
abroad representation. Female students represented 65.3% of participants in 2012/13 (IIE,
2014). The participation rate of female students has not greatly differed over the past decade;
female students represented 65% of participants in 2000/01 (Open Doors). Little research has
focused on the reasons for the gender gap in study abroad; however, study abroad professionals
have often suggested the gender gap is due to larger amount of women as opposed to men who
study humanities, social sciences, and foreign languages (Salisbury et al, 2011; Institute of
International Education, 2008). Salisbury et al. asserted that since men and women experience
college differently, this framework must also be applied to study abroad in order to understand
the gender gap (2011). As in previous work, Salisbury approaches study abroad participation
through a lens that acknowledges the importance of human capital, social capital, financial
capital, and cultural capital (2011). Salisbury et al. found that males and females differ
significantly in regards to social and cultural capital, which suggests that this difference accounts
for disparity in gender participation. Salisbury et al.s work provides a decent framework with
which to expand in regards to the gender gap in study abroad.
In recognition of the gender gap in study abroad, Rawlins qualitative research engaged
returning female study abroad participants and their experiences with sexual harassment in their
host country. Rawlins found that research on study abroad has largely been silent of questions
of gender (2009, p. 476). Rawlins concluded that nearly all of the interviewed young women
expressed their feeling that their travel abroad enhanced their self-confidence and made them

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feel empowered as a result of successfully meeting the various challenges they experienced
(2009, p. 495). Rawlins study provided insight into the experiences of young women studying
abroad and more research needs to investigate such experiences.
The gender gap in study abroad might suggest the significant cognitive development
women experience while abroad. Eriksons Identity Development Theory may reflect the
psychosocial development that occurs as a study abroad participant. Eriksons psychological
lens on development emphasized the importance of environment and context in human
development (Evans et al, 2010, p. 62). Since study abroad students are taken out of their
environment and are placed in a new cultural context, students may experience significant
evolution in their identity. Erickson emphasized the importance is crisis resolution; when an
individual successfully resolves a crisis, identity commitment becomes stronger (as cited in
Evans et al., 2010, p. 51). More research needs to consider the interplay of gender, sex, and
cognitive development as a study abroad participant.
LGBTQA Students. Very little study abroad research has focused on LGBTQA students, neither
LGBTQA access to study abroad and experiences once abroad. J. Trimpe investigated students
who questioned their sexual orientation or came out while abroad and their subsequent reentry
process in the United States (1998). Trimpe administered a survey and found that reentry to the
United States was significantly more difficult if the student explored their sexuality while abroad
(1998). More research needs to focus on LGTQA study abroad students: their experiences and
their access to study abroad opportunities.
Students with Disabilities. The Open Doors Report demonstrates an increased participation rate
of students with disabilities in study abroad. Participation rate has increased from 2.6% in

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2006/07 to 5.1% in 2012/13 (IIE, 2014). There is little data on students with disabilities in study
abroad; the Open Doors Report has only started to collect data in 2006. Each year, however,
more institutions are reporting on disability status, which implies that institutions are better
assessing students with disabilities. More research needs to focus on students with disabilities.
Conclusion. There is a significant lack of diversity in study abroad participation. Students may
experience social identity development through study abroad; however, there is not enough
research to support that claim.
Future Implications
Overview. Through critiquing research concerning the developmental value and lack of
diversity in study abroad, it is clear that there is a discrepancy in regards to access to study
abroad. Since there is significant evidence in the developmental value of study abroad, it is
necessary increase access to study abroad in order to better equilibrate this educational
intervention. As study abroad popularity continues to increase, it is essential to acknowledge the
change in study abroad programming; short-term programs have higher enrollments than
semester- or year-long (IIE, 2014). Study abroad professionals need to focus on access and
short-term programming in the upcoming years.
Access to Study Abroad. Several scholars have conducted research in order to understand an
individuals propensity to study abroad during their undergraduate degree (Hackney et al., 2012;
Salisbury et al, 2008). Salisbury et al. found that Laura Pernas (2006) integrated model of
college choice and the student-choice construct encompasses a grounded approach to
understanding how students make decisions about opportunities during undergraduate studies (as

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cited in Salisbury et al., 2008). Salisbury et al. found that these theoretical frameworks can assist
researchers in better understanding how a student decides to study abroad (2008). The decision
to study abroad may be influenced by factors such as socioeconomic status, social capital, and
cultural capital (Salisbury et al., 2008). Research demonstrates that the higher the
socioeconomic status, social capital, and cultural capital, the more likely the student is to study
abroad (Salisbury et al., 2008). Hackney et al. found that a students willingness to study abroad
suggests that the student has already determined that they have the resources to do so, which
suggest that students are highly influenced by their socioeconomic status (2012, p. 126). By
asserting the integrated model of college choice and the student-choice construct, one can better
understand the decisions that students make while in college, which are influenced by the nature
and amount of human, financial, social, and cultural capital available to the student throughout
the sequence (Salisbury, 2008, p. 122).
Salisbury et al. also asserted that a students decision to study abroad is substantially
influenced by a combination of pre-college socioeconomic status and the social and cultural
capital accumulated before entering and during college (2008, p. 122). Salisbury et al.s
quantitative study collected surveys from 4,501 full-time freshmen at 19 institutions, 11 of which
were liberal arts colleges (Salisbury et al, 2008). Salisbury et al.s work concerning study abroad
participation has pinpointed the inequity in secondary education and whether or not international
educational opportunities are highlighted. In the future, study abroad professionals need to
emphasize the importance of secondary education and its promotion of international educational
opportunities. Despite efforts to increase diversity in study abroad, little progress has been made.
It is time to change the method in which study abroad is promoted.

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Rising Popularity of Short-Term Programs. Study abroad programs have continued to evolve
throughout the decades. Data from the Institute of International Educations Open Doors Report
demonstrates a significant increase in short-term programming. Participation rate in a semester
study abroad program decreased from 38.5% in 2000/01 to 33.6% in 2012/13 (IIE, 2014).
Furthermore, participation rate in academic year study abroad has greatly dropped from 7% in
2000/01 to 3.1% in 2012/13 (IIE, 2014). Short-term programming demonstrates higher
participation rates. The highest participation rate in 2012/13 is represented during the summer
term, which accounts for 37.8% of participants (IIE, 2014). Short-term programming may also
account for the increase of overall study abroad participants. Study abroad participants have
increased from 154,168 in 2000/01 to 289,408 in 2012/13. Despite the increased participation
rate in short-term study abroad programs, scholars have questioned whether short-term programs
effectively promote cross-cultural learning and development in the same way as semester- or
year-long programs (Salisbury et al, 2010). As short-term program participation increases, it is
necessary to assess the effectiveness of such programming in order to administer the
transformative nature that students experience during semester- or year-long studies. Without
short-term programming assessment, study abroad may consist of little more than an
extended vacation with universities simply acting as expensive travel agents (as cited in Black
& Duhon, 2006, p. 140). Black & Duhons study used the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory
and administered the inventory to students who completed a month-long program in London,
England (2006). The results demonstrated the effectiveness of student growth and development
during the short-term program. More research should be conducted in regards to the
effectiveness of short-term programs. The Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory is a useful

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assessment tool to better understand the quality and effectiveness of long- and short-term
programs in promoting student development.
Conclusion. Through this study abroad literature review, it is clear that study abroad
professionals need to focus on promoting study abroad to younger individuals. In addition, study
abroad professionals also need to maintain quality short-term programming to ensure that study
abroad participants receive similar developmental benefits as long-term participants.
Literature Review Conclusion
There is a great deal of research which supports the developmental value of study abroad.
During study abroad, students may experience enculturation and cross-cultural adaptability,
which will challenge students to adopt new ways of thinking and lead to the incorporation of
new ideas into action as suggested in Kolbs Theory of Experiential Learning (Langley &
Breese, 2005; Black & Duhon, 2006; Evans et al. 2010, p. 139). As a study abroad student, one
may experience culture shock due to the new environment and context (Ryan & Twibell, 2000).
However, with appropriate pre-departure orientations and social support, students should be able
to transition well based on Schlossbergs Theory of Transition. According to Bronfenbrenners
Theory, change in a students macrosystem like their culture in the United States to a different
culture may cause a student to reflect on the United States and what it means to be American
(Dolby, 2004). When studying in developing countries, it is essential for students and staff to
adhere to morality as suggested in Kohlbergs Theory of Moral Development.
The lack of diversity in study abroad is significant. However, it is possible for study
abroad to instigate social identity development. Heritage study abroad may instigate racial

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identity development abroad as it did for Black students in Ghana, which is supported by Fhagen
and Smiths Model of Black Identity (Day-Vines, 1998). White students who study in countries
in which they are a racial minority may experience social development in regards to Rowe et
al.s White Racial Consciousness Model. Far more women study abroad than men; female
participants in study abroad may experience cognitive development as Ericksons Identity
Development Theory suggests (Salisbury et al, 2011; Rawlins, 2009). Research needs to be
expanded on Latino(a), Asian, American Indian, and Multiracial students. Research needs to be
expanded on LGBTQA students; there is very little data or research about LGBTQA students and
study abroad. In addition, it is important to expand research on students with disabilities and
study abroad.
Implications from this literature review suggest more professional emphasis and research
on access to study abroad and short-term programming. Data suggests that international
educational opportunities need promotion in secondary schools. Data also suggest the
continually increased participation in short-term study abroad programs. In order to ensure the
developmental value of study abroad, it is necessary to provide quality short-term programs.

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