The interest in study abroad has increased exponentially in the last two decades. Study abroad is championed by educators, business leaders, politicians, students and many others as an effective means to foster mutual understanding between two or more cultures and to encourage great personal growth in the study abroad participant. An important component of the study abroad cycle is the reentry phase. This is the time when students return to their homes and reflect on what they have learned, see how they have changed and ponder what this experience means for their future paths in life. There are many different study abroad programs in existence today, and many are expanding beyond the traditional single-country semester-long study abroad program. One program in particular, the Semester at Sea program, takes a very different approach to study abroad. Students on this program are not immersed into one host-country culture, but rather immersed into a unique shipboard culture and are exposed to at least ten different countries’ cultures. This study investigates whether or not Semester at Sea students have similar reentry experiences as students who return from single-country study abroad programs; the question of how to better assist Semester at Sea students in their return home is also addressed.


International and Comparative Education