Publication Date

Summer 8-18-2016

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Lynee Connelly

Abstract

Study abroad is a privilege and an opportunity of a lifetime that not many individuals take full advantage of. Many factors can contribute towards a student’s decision to not study abroad, including but not limited to: finances, academic coursework, family concerns, and not being able to graduate on time. A topic rarely discussed is disclosing medical information. While the amount of students studying abroad is increasing every year, a significant amount of underrepresented minorities desire to embark on that journey of study abroad as well. Unfortunately, advisers are not always well equipped with adequate knowledge of resources. Outdated terminology and language can unintentionally ostracize and even further exclude students, especially students with disabilities. Faculty, staff, and students around the country have contacted our organization about inclusive practices, what terminology to use to advise better, and how to make their own materials more accessible to everyone.

Literature reviews, personal experience, and online scholarly research has shown that the following can increase underrepresented minorities participation in study abroad: self confidence, preparation, a positive attitude, flexibility, patience, cultural understanding, willingness to learn and being uncomfortable. These factors can help students (with and without disabilities) take that leap of faith to pursue study abroad to further educate themselves personally and professionally. This capstone paper outlines a need for a Moodle designed online interactive training not only to promote inclusive practices, but to help study abroad advisers be more open minded to change and indirect with students to help them gain a basic understanding for the need of international and cultural educational exchange.

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education | International and Comparative Education

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