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Great expectations of studying abroad: exchange students from Umeå University, Sweden
Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för geografi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-7352-9971
Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för geografi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-6539-7673
Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för geografi. (Arcum)ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2822-5503
2019 (Engelska)Ingår i: Exploring the opportunities and challenges of international students / [ed] Michael Allison, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2019, s. 99-124Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate students' expectations and experiences when studying abroad. A group of outbound exchange students at Umeå University, Sweden, were surveyed before and after the experience of studying in a foreign country. The study is based on a panel of 57 students, who answered one questionnaire prior to leaving for studies abroad and another after six months when most had returned to Sweden. Overall, the students were satisfied with their stay abroad. While the findings are partly in line with previous studies – the students expected to develop their language skills, learn more about another culture, develop as a person, and use the experience as a merit in their future career – this study also showed that in some aspects their perception of studying abroad changed. Perceptions that changed between the questionnaires concerned courses not being offered at Umeå University, more courses being available abroad than at home, and change of environment; the students appreciated this change more than they had expected. Moreover, the willingness to work abroad after finishing the studies was assessed lower upon the return home after the time abroad. Swedish outbound exchange students can be characterized as participants in horizontal mobility, as they expect a foreign higher education institution (HEI) to be of similar quality as their home university, thus emphasizing personal development more than academic achievement.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2019. s. 99-124
Serie
Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
Nyckelord [en]
outbound students, student mobility, experiences and expectations, follow-up, Sweden
Nationell ämneskategori
Kulturgeografi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158999Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85123129717ISBN: 9781536162424 (digital)ISBN: 9781536162417 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158999DiVA, id: diva2:1316109
Anmärkning

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form.

Tillgänglig från: 2019-05-16 Skapad: 2019-05-16 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-03-07Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Studying abroad: exploring mobility, expectations and experiences among mobile students
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Studying abroad: exploring mobility, expectations and experiences among mobile students
2019 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the experiences and outcomes of temporarily studying abroad, via follow-up studies, aiming to explore international student mobility with a focus on the individual’s perspective. The specific research questions, dealing with the individual students’ expectations and experiences, are addressed in three papers. The fourth paper is a framing of these studies, using results from a global study.

The first research question connects to the attractiveness of international study experiences: Q1. What are the individual’s expectations for studying abroad, among inbound and outbound students, and what are the students’ reported experiences compared with these expectations? The second research question connects to the mobility culture of youth: Q2. Does students’ reported life satisfaction change in any way after studying abroad?

A main finding for outbound students was an appreciation of courses offered at the destination higher education institution that were not available at Umeå University. The students also had a desire to change their environment and have new experiences. Conversely, the desire to work abroad in the future was lower after returning home. A major finding for inbound students was that they assigned higher value to personal development than academic development. The experience made the students positive in regard to working abroad. Inbound students reported significantly higher satisfaction at follow-up six months later for the domains somatic health and activities of daily living. For both in- and outbound students, experiencing a new culture was more important than pure academic experiences.When the experience was compared with the expectation, in most cases the outcomes were positively related for both in- and outbound students. The motives for international study were primarily related to personal achievements, indicating a fulfilment of one’s potential and curiosity about a sojourn abroad.

Finally, the results from the Umeå studies were compared with a global survey. The Umeå studies shows that the respondents viewed studying abroad as an important experience and as a merit later in life. The global survey results indicate that the transition from education to the world of work is of increasing importance to students, and that it matters more for non-European students. The global study showed that employability, teaching ability, expert lectures, and course organization are important to international students.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Umeå: Geografiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, 2019. s. 70
Serie
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2019:2
Nyckelord
student mobility, inbound, outbound, exchange students, Sweden
Nationell ämneskategori
Kulturgeografi
Forskningsämne
kulturgeografi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-159036 (URN)978-91-7855-040-1 (ISBN)
Disputation
2019-06-14, S213H, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:15 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2019-05-24 Skapad: 2019-05-17 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-03-07Bibliografiskt granskad

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Nilsson, Per A.Westin, KerstinMüller, Dieter K.

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