Travelling a thousand miles: Hong Kong Chinese studentsí study abroad experience
Yang, M and Webster, B and Prosser, M, Travelling a thousand miles: Hong Kong Chinese students' study abroad experience, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, (1) pp. 69-78. ISSN 0147-1767 (2011) [Refereed Article]
This study focused on Chinese studentsí goals, experiences, and learning outcomes associated with their participation in study abroad. Data were drawn from survey responses from 214 undergraduates of a university in Hong Kong who studied or engaged in overseas internships/volunteer work in 20 countries. To explore the data, an experiential intercultural learning model was proposed. This model views study abroad as an active learning process in which study abroad goals motivate students to engage in experiences likely to enhance their intercultural, disciplinary/career, and personal competences. The findings suggested interrelatedness of studentsí study abroad goals, host country experiences and learning outcomes. Specifically, alignment between studentsí learning outcomes and study abroad goals was identified through a comparison of results from content analysis of studentsí perception of important things learned (an open-ended item) and the descriptive statistics on studentsí perception of achievement of study abroad goals. Correlation analysis indentified close relationships between studentsí achievement of study abroad goals (i.e. personal development goals, intercultural development goals, and disciplinary/career development goals) and host country experiences (i.e. study/work experiences, intercultural experiences, and personal changes as a result of the experiences). Personal changes were correlated with intercultural experiences and with study/work experiences. The findings implied that for optimal student development via study abroad, students need to be encouraged in setting goals relating to intercultural, personal and academic/career development, and to orient actions toward such goals.