Learning How to Support Diversity in Study Abroad: Building Interdepartmental Relationships at the University of San Diego to Effectively Support Students of Diversity through the Study Abroad Experience

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Linda Drake Gobbo


The objective of Capstone inquiry was to prepare University of San Diego Office of International Studies Abroad Advisors to better support students of diversity through the study abroad experience. Defined within this research as students with non-academic barriers to study abroad, diversity includes ethnically diverse, LGBTQ, veteran, low-income, first-generation, and differently-abled students. Three aspects of literature were explored to set a foundation for inquiry: current conversations surrounding identity, privilege, and microaggressions within the context of the United States; overseas experiences from minoritized students and recommendations within the education abroad community for supporting students of diversity; and Marcia B. Baxter Magolda’s theory of self-authorship and the learning partnership model as a method of identity-inclusive learning. Building from this literature, the inquiry focused on establishing connections with professionals actively supporting students of diversity at the University of San Diego. Interviews with these professionals highlighted the primary barriers to study abroad, best practices for communication, and ways the Office of International Studies Abroad may improve practices to support their student population. The Capstone concludes with several practical recommendations for adjustments to advising within the Office of International Studies Abroad.


International and Comparative Education

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