Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

David Shallenberger


Through financial and emotional support, parents are a primary stakeholder in the study abroad process and can either encourage or discourage their student to study abroad during their college experience. This paper seeks to identify the roles of today’s parent in their student’s study abroad experiences and to what extent parents influence their children’s decisions surrounding their decision to study abroad. Qualitative surveys and interviews were conducted with eight study abroad alumni and their parent of choice during this exploratory study. Questions asked and results provided include patterns of communication at home versus abroad, feelings surrounding the support of parents during the study abroad process, and the direct impact of parent influence on the decision to study abroad. Conclusions show that parental support of the general concept of study abroad was an influencer in the decision to study abroad. However, almost all students indicate that they discovered, researched, and chose their specific study abroad program with very little or no assistance from their parent. In most cases students sought their parent’s stamp of approval on their study abroad decision, but not their permission.



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