Event Title

Study Abroad: Enabling Employment at Home from Experiences Afar

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Barbara Burgess-Wilkerson

College

College of Business Administration

Department

Management and Marketing

Honors Thesis Committee

Barbara Burgess-Wilkerson, Ph.D.; Keith Robbins, Ph.D.; Emma Riddle, Ph.D.

Location

West Center,Room 217

Start Date

22-4-2016 1:10 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 1:25 PM

Description

More students are electing to study abroad than has been the case in years past and with this changing trend, certain shortcomings in the programs are being brought to light. The intentions of the international scholars and those of their program directors are beginning to vary more starkly: the former hoping to explore international boundaries as a path toward maturity and independence, while the latter is viewing the experience in terms of language competency and as a path toward a specific career goal. An opinion survey will be distributed to test this claim and to obtain a consensus on what the current expectations are and the extent to which they are being met. From the responses, conclusions may be drawn with respect to the study’s primary research questions: 1) Do study abroad programs adequately emphasize professional tools and opportunities? 2) If students do not feel their experience was organized optimally, what should be changed? 3) Lastly, if these programs do fulfill their designated roles effectively, what professional alternatives should be considered? The survey will be distributed to a population of approximately 50 individuals from college-level institutions who have studied abroad at least once. Preliminary results suggest that while chances to develop one’s self professionally are often made available, they fail to meet expectations and are inadequate for establishing a career path toward a specific goal; though, in comparison, they do provide rich cultural encounters that lead to maturity and independence.

Course Assignment

Thesis Research, HONR450H, Barbara Burgess-Wilkerson

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Apr 22nd, 1:10 PM Apr 22nd, 1:25 PM

Study Abroad: Enabling Employment at Home from Experiences Afar

West Center,Room 217

More students are electing to study abroad than has been the case in years past and with this changing trend, certain shortcomings in the programs are being brought to light. The intentions of the international scholars and those of their program directors are beginning to vary more starkly: the former hoping to explore international boundaries as a path toward maturity and independence, while the latter is viewing the experience in terms of language competency and as a path toward a specific career goal. An opinion survey will be distributed to test this claim and to obtain a consensus on what the current expectations are and the extent to which they are being met. From the responses, conclusions may be drawn with respect to the study’s primary research questions: 1) Do study abroad programs adequately emphasize professional tools and opportunities? 2) If students do not feel their experience was organized optimally, what should be changed? 3) Lastly, if these programs do fulfill their designated roles effectively, what professional alternatives should be considered? The survey will be distributed to a population of approximately 50 individuals from college-level institutions who have studied abroad at least once. Preliminary results suggest that while chances to develop one’s self professionally are often made available, they fail to meet expectations and are inadequate for establishing a career path toward a specific goal; though, in comparison, they do provide rich cultural encounters that lead to maturity and independence.