Exploring how short-term overseas study programs impact students’ personal growth

Authors: Jean-Pierre Fenech, Monash University; Sylvana Fenech, RMIT University; Jacqueline Birt, University of Queensland

Edition: Volume 53, Number 3, November 2013

Summary:  This paper is an exploratory study of the impact of short-term overseas study programs on participants’ personal growth in business school environments. We interviewed students participating in such a program organised by an Australian university. Guided by the literature, we used three factors — pre-academic work, a three-week sojourn, and the participants themselves — in order to understand the association between the program and the participants’ personal growth. We noted several idiosyncrasies amongst the participants that affected their level of personal growth, including language ability, age, gender, extent of previous travel and ethnic background. Overall, all students experienced different levels of growth as a result of the program.

Keywords: study abroad, short-term programs, personal development,


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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 53_3. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

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