Theses and Dissertations @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


This qualitative study sought to gain a more complete understanding of the transformative potential of international educational experiences for US college students. The stories of seven traditionally aged students were evaluated to discern possible commonalties across the diverse experiences. These themes were framed as a cyclical process of departures, passages, and arrivals with special attention given to how students constructed meaning from their intercultural encounters. Factors such as the need to understand, affiliate, and create experiences appeared to be influential along with expectations of host cultures, definitions of family, and time spent in dialectical thought. Students who spent more time in reflection and engaging in introspective activities created richer meaning from their experiences. The implications for practice that have been presented are based on the experiences of the students in this study. Future systematic research efforts may continue to illuminate the salient issues students may face while studying abroad.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

Michael Waggoner, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 131 pages)



File Format