More to the World: An Analysis of Study Abroad Programs
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It is widely agreed on that studying abroad greatly benefits students in their academics, personal life, and future careers; I argue that which country you visit also plays an important role. In this thesis, I review Texas State study abroad programs to analyze the cultural distances between host countries in relation to United States culture and how students will benefit more greatly by studying in countries with a greater cultural distance. To test this hypothesis, I interviewed Texas State students who’ve participated in Texas State faculty led study abroad programs to examine if their experiences which include: personal growth, language acquisition, cross-cultural competencies obtainment, academic commitment, and career growth positively differed by country of study. To conduct my research, I used multiple cultural frameworks, including monochronic vs. polychronic time, high vs. low context, power distance, masculinity vs. femininity, and individualism vs. collectivism. My findings were that country location does affect personal growth, academic commitment, and cross-cultural obtainment. While majority of students regardless of country location had the same takeaways which include: wanting to purse traveling and working abroad and finding out that people are the same regardless of location.