Publication Date

2011

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Sora Friedman

Abstract

This research study examines the participation rate of Latino/a students in study abroad at Beloit College and considers the reasons why Latino/a students participate in study abroad at lower numbers than majority student groups. International Education professionals have studied minority student participation in study abroad for years without much improvement in recruitment. This research study attempts to fill that need particularly for Latino/a students, the fastest growing student population in the United States. While the Latino/a student population at Beloit College is small with approximately 60 students, researching this topic from a liberal arts perspective has presented some interesting findings. The countries in which students chose to study abroad are worldwide rather than in heritage-seeking destinations. In addition, the top factors for choosing to study abroad were how the study abroad program fit the student’s academic plan and how it matched the student’s future career ambition.

The top reasons against studying abroad were a lack of finances and extensive course requirements. While the majority of students who completed this research study had plans to study abroad or had already studied abroad, they provided a great deal of insight into the challenges that Latino/a students face when contemplating study abroad. This information led to recommendations for International Educators as to how to recruit and best support Latino/a students. These recommendations are crucial as the students who choose not to participate in study abroad might choose to participate if they were provided with more accurate information. One recommendation is to work more closely with the families of Latino/a students by appointing a Spanish-speaking staff member to be the main contact. Another suggestion is to become acquainted with and participate in Latino/a clubs and organizations in an effort to become more visible to this student population.

Disciplines

International and Comparative Education | Race and Ethnicity

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