Study Abroad Course Development: Pre-Departure Sessions
MetadataShow full item record
Study abroad is a highly encouraged component of the undergrad business program at Bella Lake University, with the large majority of undergraduate students choosing to study and live in a foreign country to expand on their international experiences. Currently, there is no learning structure or learning outcome expectation for students that will participate in the study abroad experience. This project focuses on the development of a course that supports students in the pre-departure phase of their study abroad journey and prepares them to set goals, understand the learning process and the practices of experiential learning to encourage students to achieve both personal and professional goals, and encourage the development of intercultural competence. The discourse surrounding the perceptions and efficacy of the course development is based on a self-assessment survey completed by 121 undergraduate business students that participated in the pre-departure sessions prior to leaving for study abroad in March 2016. The self-assessment results overall showed that the course achieved its aims with the majority of students rating that they were more likely to understand and engage in experiential learning, set goals for their study abroad experience and felt more prepared for study abroad after attending the pre-departure sessions. The project concludes that in order for the pre-departure course to maintain its value, the conversation with students surrounding experiential learning in study abroad needs to continue with further course development focusing on both during and post-study abroad. Further exploration can also be done to find varying ways to motivate different students to engage in the learning potential of study abroad.