Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo


This research seeks to identify the barriers that undergraduate students at the University of San Diego are encountering when deciding to study abroad. Existing published student data outcomes present an overall picture of the advantages and disadvantages of student mobility program types based on the undergraduate study abroad experience. Outcomes of faculty and administration interviews provide a richer perspective of student mobility and how it fits into the overall comprehensive internationalization picture of the institution.

The intention of this study is to focus on institutional internationalization solely at the student mobility level. Key findings from this research demonstrate that while there are many opportunities for undergraduate study abroad students at USD, there are also various barriers that hinder their experience. These barriers include financial constraints, availability of course credit, and safety abroad during the changing geopolitical climate. The American Council on Education’s (2012) model and Jane Knight’s (2000) Internationalization Tracking Measure will be applied to illuminate the challenges that students at the University of San Diego are confronted with during the study abroad process. Findings from this research will show possible solutions which will help increase education abroad participation. All six elements of the ACE (2012) approach are critical to the success of comprehensive internationalization at USD. Education abroad will be the chosen lens for this analysis in order to determine how to meet the needs of students seeking a global experience during their undergraduate career.


International and Comparative Education