Predicting Study Abroad Propensity among College Students

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Virginia Tech


The present and increasingly globalized environment of commerce and information has created the need for a workforce adept at global citizenship (Reimers, 2009). As a demand for global citizens has increased, higher education has responded by developing 21st century workforce competencies among its students (NAFSA International Strategic Plans and Mission Statements, 2012). Study abroad is one of the means employed by higher education to increase students' global competency (Carlson, Bum, Useem and Yachimowicz, 1990).

This study explored the relationship between demographic characteristic, and personal, social, and academic experiences of students with respect to predicting propensity to study abroad. Prior research has focused on each of these factors individually while this study explored the influence of these factors collectively on the likelihood to study abroad. Factors were defined by variables measured by the 2014 National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE) (NSSE, 2014). The data analyses included a combination of independent sample t tests, one-way ANOVAs, and linear regression.

The results revealed that gender, race, major, and SES are good predictors of participation in study abroad. Additionally, academic collegiate experiences germane to diversity and societal awareness increased propensity to participate in study abroad.



International Education, Study Abroad