Japanese college students' study abroad decisions: From the perspectives of Japanese study abroad administrators


  • Richard Porter Texas Tech University
  • Noriko Porter Washington State University


study abroad, Japan, higher education, international office administrator, qualitative


The purpose of this study is to examine the factors that impact Japanese students’ decisions to study abroad from the perspectives of Japanese study abroad administrators. In-depth interviews of five study abroad administrators at Japanese universities were qualitatively analyzed. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems was used to identify various immediate and distant environmental factors related to students’ decisions to study abroad. The results suggested mixed findings for factors affecting contemporary Japanese students studying abroad, such as the inwardness of Japanese students and current Japanese government and corporate efforts to internationalize higher education. In addition, the study found that the Japanese cultural pattern of conformity and dependent parent-child relationships are affecting students’ choice to go overseas. These findings have implications for (1) study abroad administrators to use culturally calibrated strategies in facilitating study abroad participation through greater involvement of peers and parents, and (2) policymakers to provide more individual scholarships than targeted institutional support.

Author Biographies

Richard Porter, Texas Tech University

Richard H. Porter, Ed.D

Director of International Student and Scholar Services, Texas Tech University

Richard Porter is the Director of International Student and Scholar Services at Texas Tech University ([email protected]).  He has served in several other international office administrative roles in the US since 2002 and was awarded a TeamUp Grant by the US Embassy in Japan in 2017. He lived in Japan for 6 years, serving as a lecturer at a private university, and completed his doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership in 2016.


Noriko Porter, Washington State University

Noriko Porter, Ph.D.

Instructor, Department of Human Development, Washington State University

Noriko Porter is an Instructor in the Department of Human Development at Washington State University ([email protected]) and a Clinical Instructor at the University of Texas Medical School, Houston ([email protected]). Before immigrating to the US., she worked as an Associate Professor at Hokuriku Gakuin College in Japan. She received a Ph.D. from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2008. She was awarded the Abe Fellowship for the 2015-2016 period.






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