A study of the relationship of study abroad and students' attitudes toward diversity and culture
Forgues, David M
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This study considered attitudes toward diversity and culture among college students before and after a study abroad experience. One group of pre-departure participants and one group of returned study abroad participants took part in the study. Differences among group mean scores on the Diversity/Challenge Scale and the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale were analyzed. The literature suggests that assessment of study abroad programs is needed and this study provided information about students' out of class learning in the areas of diversity and culture while on study abroad. The participants were college students at a large Public Research I University in the northeast that participated in a one semester study aboard in the spring of 2004 or the spring of 2005. This was a cross-sectional study and it tested statistical significance of the difference between two mean scores. The study found that there were significant differences between the groups on several individual dimensions and on the overall Openness to Diversity and Intercultural Sensitivity Scales. These results suggested that study abroad did have a significant impact on student learning in these two areas.