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EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF STUDY ABROAD Magdalena Chica-Garzón Office of International Programs Georgetown University Washington, DC.

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Presentation on theme: "EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF STUDY ABROAD Magdalena Chica-Garzón Office of International Programs Georgetown University Washington, DC."— Presentation transcript:

1 EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF STUDY ABROAD Magdalena Chica-Garzón Office of International Programs Georgetown University Washington, DC

2 Like a religion, a political ideology, or a scientific theory, a culture is a sort of paradigm. Living in another culture for an extended period of time forces a critical examination on ones own assumptions about the world. Just as a crisis of religious faith or political beliefs often reopens the door to an extremely creative period in the life of an adolescent or young adult- regardless of whether the final outcome is rejection or reaffirmation of the original paradigm-so, too, with culture. In this sense, study abroad is often liberal education at its best. Taken from: Foreign Study Roundtable: Culture Shock as a Learning ExperienceChip Peterson and Frank Miller, Transitions Abroad, Fall 1985


4 Survey Content Personal Demographics –Program/country abroad –Term abroad –Year abroad –Gender –Current career –Continued international experience Georgetown experience –School –Major/minor –Latin American Certificate program participation Impact of Study Abroad on: - Enduring relationships with friends/host family from time abroad - Language proficiency - Graduate school - Career choices and opportunities - Marketability in the work force - Life decisions (i.e. marriage, children's language etc.) - Political/religious beliefs and personal values - Community service activities and charitable contributions

5 Demographics

6 Participants 1996-2005 Latin AmericaSpain

7 Survey Demographics Response rate Latin America Spain 156 (44%)131 (20%) M = 52 (35%) F = 104 (51%) M = 35 (16%) F = 96 (22%) F = 64 (42%) S = 62 (39%) FY = 28 (68%) F = 3 (25%) S = 62 (13%) FY = 66 (34%)

8 Latin America

9 Impact of Study Abroad Preliminary Analysis

10 Overall Impact Latin AmericaSpain Mean = 4.79Mean = 4.82

11 Relationships Latin America SpainAverage Host Family 82% 4.04 70% 3.903.98 Residence or other 18% 3.70 30% 3.903.82 Extremely poor Poor Below Average Above Average Excellent What best characterizes your personal relationship with your host family or with the other students at the residiencia?

12 Self Assessed Language Proficiency Oral Proficiency Declined Greatly Declined Somewhat Remained the same Increased Somewhat Increased Greatly Average Score Latin America 0%1%2%23%74%4.71 Spain 0%1%4%24%71%4.67 Written Proficiency Latin America 0%1%7%45%47%4.39 Spain 0%1%9%48%42%4.32

13 Self-Assessed Language Proficiency Students feel they make gains in their language skills while abroad Oral communication skills are perceived to improve more than written skills by the Georgetown students

14 Self-Assessed Language Proficiency Looking back on your experience, is there anything you wish you had taken advantage of to further improve your language skills?

15 Graduate Education Latin America Law (23%) Education (18%) Business (17%) Regional Studies (11%) Other (31%) Spain Law (30%) Political Science (16%) Business (14%) Communication (9%) Health (9%) Other (22%)

16 Graduate Education None Little Somewhat Much A great deal

17 Graduate Education Males who participated in Latin American programs showed a trend to be more strongly influenced by study abroad in their educational choices than females

18 Career: Skills Acquired Abroad Latin America SpainP value Foreign Language proficiency 3.753.31.003 Cultural knowledge 3.442.30.000 Major/minor/certificate at Georgetown 3.422.93.007 Familiarity with host country Community service abroad Internship abroad How much influence has each of the following factors had on your career? None Little Somewhat Much A great deal

19 Career: Choices and Preparation Latin America SpainP value Your qualifications 3.673.47.107 Competitiveness in the job market 3.623.37.056 Type of organization you have worked for 3.362.80.000 Type of work you do Your work-related travel destinations 2.832.50.110 How much influence do you feel your overseas studies experience has had on the following aspects of your career? None Little Somewhat Much A great deal

20 Current Occupation

21 Life decisions Latin America SpainP value Foreign language of your children 3.793.54.136 Determining your core values Determining your political position Guiding your community service 2.851.84.000 Choosing a place to live 2.762.30.009 Choosing your partner/spouse 2.491.91.004 Selecting charitable contributions 2.481.43.000 Guiding your religious/spiritual beliefs

22 Most Difficult Latin America Spain Personal Homesickness /Being away from family and friends Loneliness Making local friends/ of similar age Finding the right host family Being sick in a foreign country Leaving Linguistic The language barrier Cultural Trying to immerse oneself in a foreign culture Machismo Academic Taking regular university classes in Spanish Meeting home university requirements

23 Most Rewarding Personal Meeting people with a different cultural background Living with a host family Traveling (Spain: 5.3%, LA: 5.5%) Changes of attitude and personal growth Volunteer Opportunities (only LA) Linguistic Language Improvement/Proficiency Cultural Experiencing a foreign culture Renewing ties with Latin America Academic /Professional Experiencing a different educational system Internship opportunities Latin America Spain

24 Application for OS professionals At Home University Marketing to students, academic departments and university officials Impact –Overall: strong positive of 84% –Professional education and career choices –Job opportunities –Personal decisions –Personal growth Language improvement Advising: Goal setting - most satisfactory and most difficult –Personal relationship with locals (host family and others) –Long term low importance of travel

25 Application for OS professionals On site Writing courses or tutorials Choice of quality housing (host family or residencia) Increase program provided opportunities to interact with locals (lang. exchange, mentors, comm. Service, internships, etc.) Controlling size of programs or creating mechanisms to help students avoid Americans

26 "After studying in Chile, and graduating from GU, I went to live in Brazil to work with street children. I met my wife there (she's Brazilian). We've been married for almost two years now. I also teach Spanish and global studies in a high school. Thank you! I can't explain enough how the program changed my life, for the better!

27 I just wanted to let you that the weekend before last I married the Spaniard I met almost 10 years ago in my dorm in Madrid. Dozens of people from our old dorm on the Gran Via were at our wedding in Mexico. I still have many close personal friends in Spain – including the two pen pals Georgetown arranged for me before I arrived ! (I have recently been to both of their weddings in Spain). Studying abroad in Madrid was an amazing, life-altering experience for me.

28 Contact Information Magdalena Chica-Garzon Assistant Director of Overseas Studies Office of International Programs Georgetown University

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