Revisiting the Literature on Study Abroad Participation in Adult and Higher Education: Moving Beyond Two Decades and Two Percent


  • Shelbee Nguyen Kennesaw State University


Study abroad, participation, Motivation to study abroad, International education, Intent to study abroad, Perceptions of study abroad, Barriers and influences to study abroad


The purpose of this literature review aims to critically examine over two decades of research concerned with study abroad participation in the United States. Research questions framing the investigation ask: 1) What methodological shortcomings can be identified in assessing influences on study abroad participation for adult and higher education learners in the last 20 years of research? and 2) What tentative solutions, using novel paths of inquiry, can be offered to encourage more than 2% study abroad participation for adult and higher education learners? To answer the research questions, a chronology of seminal and key research contributing to understanding about study abroad participation is synthesized with researcher’s deductions about what is needed and important to increase national participation rates in study abroad programs across adult and higher education. Tentative solutions and conclusions about the collective state of the research are brought forth with special attention to perceptions of and motivations to participate in study abroad programs. These suggestions seek to carve new paths and understanding in factors bearing influence on study abroad participation.






General Refereed Papers