What is driving my research?
I want to find out how to make study abroad more available to a greater number of students. The greatest barrier to study abroad for most students is the cost. So my essential question is “How can I develop affordable study abroad options?”
Studying abroad is an invaluable experience that can improve students’ foreign language skills and widen cross-cultural awareness. However, according to NAFSA, only one percent or approximately 300,000 students study abroad each year. This is likely due to the high costs of study abroad programs. Making studying abroad more affordable will increase participation.
Tools: I plan to expand the Center’s online resources and create a pamphlet that features scholarships for study abroad. The pamphlet would be a general overview while the online resources will be more detailed (sorted by language, major, etc.).
Inquiry: I will source this information by doing primary research that will include: 1) A survey of prospective study abroad students, 2) A summary of federal and institutional study abroad scholarships, and 3) A competitive benchmark of other university global engagement centers.
In the next week, I plan to discuss this with my mentor to discover what research the Center has concerning study abroad.