The motivations and perspectives of student participants in alternative break programs: A comparative analysis of U.S. and Nigerian participants
Degree awarded: M.A. School of Education, Teaching and Health. American University Study abroad has been a significant educational experience for many years impacting student development and intercultural competence. Over the years, however, the traditional study abroad experience has transformed and expanded offering more students different opportunities to travel and learn abroad. Specifically, the emergence of international service learning (ISL) and short term, international alternative break programs have addressed the needs of students looking for more "hands-on" experiences as well as those students seeking short term opportunities that may better suit their financial and educational needs. These new developments, however, must be examined in order to maintain ethical standards of practice while offering students the best learning opportunities available. In order to address this need, universities are responsible to investigate the motivations and outcomes of the different stakeholders included in the different study abroad programs, namely the student participants and the host communities.