Going Abroad, Staying Connected: Contemporary Media Technology and the Study Abroad Experience
Stoner, Adriane P
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The role of study abroad programs in U.S. colleges and universities has grown significantly in recent decades. As the number of student participants in these programs continue to increase, so have questions regarding the role of contemporary media technology in education abroad. Digital media technology—inclusive of both devices and the networks they provide access to—has become an increasingly integral part of daily life and has changed how individuals live their lives, both at home and abroad. This raises many questions in regard to the impact of new media on experiences of international travel, and even more so for structured international experiences for college students created with specific learning outcomes, such as increased self-awareness and open-mindedness. Many unanswered questions remain about how new media fundamentally changes or redefines the study abroad experience. One of particular relevance is: Are learning outcomes of the study abroad experience truly under threat as uninterrupted access to contemporary media technology has become more commonplace? Using data gathered from U.S. study abroad alumni, this dissertation examines the relationship between the use of contemporary media technology while abroad, and 1) contact with host nationals, and 2) some of the desired psychological and sociological outcomes of the experience.
Subjectstudy abroad, new media