Publication Date

2008

Abstract

Experiential study abroad programs continue to face pressure to provide evidence of their stated outcomes. In recent years many college programs have produced outcomes assessments, but there is a continuing need for outcomes information for younger students. This research explores the participants' perceptions of the longterm outcomes of shortterm study abroad programs for middle school students. Individuals who participated in Educational Safaris' international programs during their middle school years served as a case study for this research. An email survey was used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The research revealed that participants' study abroad experience during their middle school years may have both direct and indirect impact on their choices later in life. The research also noted an increase in personal growth, foreign language competency, and intercultural awareness that can lead to a greater level of intercultural competence. This study adds a new voice to the outcomes assessments of study abroad programs and expands their use to middle school programs. It provides data to support the anecdotal evidence that practitioners in the field have experienced for so long. The research may be of interest to middle school program providers, program leaders, investors, parents, and middle school students.

Disciplines

International and Comparative Education

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