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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Kent Warren

First Committee Member

Carmen Deneve

Second Committee Member

Riall Nolan


This qualitative study explores the complexities of a little studied international student population called heritage seekers. Focusing specifically on Mexican Americans studying abroad in Mexico, this investigation examined a group from California living in the central state of Queretaro. Information on their experience was collected via a questionnaire applied upon their arrival in Mexico and a two hour interview with each of the participants conducted midway through their study abroad. Their experiences were compiled into profiles and analyzed using theories from four different areas of intercultural study including acculturation, identity, Chicano studies, and friendship development. This investigation produced a series of demographic continua, a list of experiences students are likely to encounter, and suggestions for international educators for meeting the needs of this student population.



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