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Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Kent Warren

First Committee Member

William L. Barnhart

Second Committee Member

A. Michael Allcott

Abstract

When selecting a study abroad program, some students undertake a semester or academic-year study abroad program, while other students undertake a two-to eight-week study abroad program. Both study abroad opportunities allow students to become immersed in a culture different from their own. This research project is an exploratory study that looks at the impact of short-term study abroad programs on undergraduates at a public institution. This study examines how participants change in regards to their understanding of the host culture, explores what students learn about their host cultures, and looks at the intercultural development that the students gain from spending a short time abroad on an academic program. The people who participated in this research project are students from the University of Utah who spent time on a short-term (two to eight weeks) study abroad program.

The literature reviewed in this study looks at number of articles that have been written about both short-term study abroad programs as well as long-term study abroad programs. The participants in this study came from a variety of academic backgrounds and class standings. A list was compiled of participants who indicated on their study abroad application that they did not have any previous international experience prior to their short-term study abroad experience. From this list, students were randomly emailed asking if they would like to participate on this study.

This study revealed that individuals who participate in a short-term study abroad program do have transformative experiences. This study concluded that individuals who participate on short-term study abroad programs experienced personal growth as a result of studying abroad.

Pages

89

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