Perspectives of African American Collegians Who Studied Abroad

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Lesley Bogad

Document Type


Second Advisor

Mustafa Ozcan

Third Advisor

Katherine Branch


Feinstein School of Education and Human Development

Department (Manual Entry)

Education Doctoral Program


Although U.S. colleges and universities continue to discuss creative ways to increase the number of African American collegians participating in study abroad, this research is limited when revealing the unique perspectives of African American collegians who have studied abroad. Traditionally an emphasis on program success has been placed on the quantity of study abroad participants rather than the quality of African American student support and engagement; the personal reflections through the lens of African American race and identity are often overlooked. A series of culturally responsive, guided interviews were conducted with African American collegians from a variety of institutions across the United States, to learn their perspectives on their study abroad experiences. This research reveals that culturally responsive mentoring and guidance are valuable in helping African American collegians deconstruct or make sense out of their study abroad experiences, both during and upon reentry. Also, African American collegians use the method of finding "home abroad" as an important coping tool for support, social adjustment, and cultural validation. Combined, these findings suggest that African American collegians who have studied abroad benefit from culturally guided reflection and learning experiences in which their race and identity are taken into consideration.