Flipping the Script in Study Abroad Participation: The Influence of Popular Culture and Social Networks

  • Shelbee Nguyen Kennesaw State University, United States
  • Joellen E. Coryell Texas State University, United States
Keywords: study abroad, flip the script, higher education, adult higher education (AHE) learner

Abstract

This study explores primary perceptions of and motivations to study abroad for adult and higher education learners. A large Hispanic-serving Southwestern university serves as the context of this study where undergraduate students and one graduate student were enrolled in an Italian urbanism study abroad program. The age of the participants ranged from 20 to 47, with six males and 11 females (N = 17) for an average age of 25. Participants self-identified as Caucasian (35%), Asian (6%), Latino/a (24%), Middle-Eastern (6%), and Mexican-American (52) %. Semi-structured interviews assessed formative and influential messages impacting perceptions of and motivations to study abroad. Findings lend special importance to popular culture, peer networks within and outside the institution and socially constructed meaning made about study abroad. Limitations of this study are highlighted, along with implications and directions for future research.

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Author Biographies

Shelbee Nguyen, Kennesaw State University, United States

SHELBEE R. NGUYEN is an Assistant Professor of Education at Kennesaw State University. Her research is focused on socio-cultural influences on adult and higher education with emphasis on study abroad and international learning. 

Joellen E. Coryell, Texas State University, United States

JOELLEN E. CORYELL is an Associate Professor of Adult, Professional, and Community Education at Texas State University. Her research is focused on international, cross-cultural adult and higher education. 

Published
2015-01-01
How to Cite
Nguyen, S., & Coryell, J. E. (2015). Flipping the Script in Study Abroad Participation: The Influence of Popular Culture and Social Networks. Journal of International Students, 5(1), 23-37. Retrieved from https://www.ojed.org/index.php/jis/article/view/440
Section
Research Articles