Chapter 9: Have Interest, Will NOT Travel: Unexpected Reasons Why Students Opt Out of International Study

Ekaterina Levintova, Sabine Smith, Rebecca Cruise, Iris Berdrow, Laura Boudon, Dan Paracka, and Paul M. Worley

Some factors like military experience, family responsibilities, health concerns, and being a student athlete can preclude international study for some students. Universities can help students integrate previous experiences like military deployment or international family travel with other high-impact practices like internships and service-learning. They can also ameliorate some of the scheduling and responsibility concerns for students who do want to travel for study.

Discussion Questions

  1. With financial concerns as the #1 reason for why students do not study abroad, do universities have an obligation to provide support? What is the benefit if they do? What is the consequence (for example, for student parents, veterans, support service clients, student athletes, etc.) if they do not?
  2. If study abroad/study away programs are still perceived as frivolous and touristic, what are barriers to institutions facilitating academic rigor and relevance? How can these barriers be overcome?
  3. How can your university be more inclusive of all in its study abroad/study away offerings?
  4. How realistic are innovative programs like having athletes study abroad as a group at a destination where they could have regular practices, possibly with local athletes?
  5. How can universities support the students who utilize student support services on campus while they are abroad? Does this already happen, or is there room for improvement?

Supplemental Materials from the Chapter

Table 9.1

Table 9.2

Table 9.3