What is it about?

This paper looks at the student perspectives before and during a period of study abroad as part of their undergraduate degree program, seeking to understand how their concerns, apprehensions and expectations actually unfolded whilst studying abroad. This research is based on analysis of blogs written by the students as they prepared to study abroad and whilst they were studying abroad to uncover how their perspectives changed during the study-abroad programme and to see if their expectations of the lifestyle, academics, and culture were met.

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Why is it important?

By understanding what concerns and apprehensions students had before studying abroad and how they actually played out whilst they were away, it should be possible to provide this information to students potentially interested in studying abroad to help alleviate some of their concerns and better prepare them for the experience. Also by better aligning students expectations of the study aboard experience and previous students actual experiences it should be possible to reduce expectations that might be violated, and in turn provide students with a more positive experience.


Previous studies have researched students pre-departure concerns, apprehensions, feelings and emotions, however, this research goes further by tracking how they actually play out whilst they are studying abroad. This study uses blogs written by students to capture in the moment feedback from students, rather than using more formal, semi-structured ‘after the event’ interviews, which are common in similar research.

Professor Robin Bell
University of Worcester

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Concerns and expectations of students participating in study abroad programmes: Blogging to reveal the dynamic student voice, Journal of Research in International Education, October 2016, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1475240916669028.
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