Type of Document Dissertation Author Schroth, Terri Lee URN etd-03232010-164719 Title Student Perspectives on Study Abroad: The Case of Louisiana State University’s Summer Internships in the French Alps Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Department French Studies Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Egea-Kuehne, Denise Committee Co-Chair Yeager, Jack Committee Co-Chair Leupin, Alexandre Committee Member Parker, Margaret Committee Member Bridwell-Bowles, Lillian Dean's Representative Keywords
- short-term study abroad
- language internships
- second-language acquisition abroad
- immersion programs
- experiential learning
Date of Defense 2010-02-22 Availability unrestricted AbstractWhile many studies have been conducted on study abroad programs, few have sought to examine the inner workings of a short-term, non-traditional (non-classroom based) program, particularly from the participants’ point-of-view. This in-depth case study explores a short-term (4-week) cultural and linguistic internship program, “LSU in the French Alps,” as well as the perspectives of four program participants. This research was conducted during four phases of the study abroad experience: the pre-departure orientation (4 days on LSU’s main campus), the in-country stay (4 weeks in the French Alps), re-entry into the United States (first 10 days upon return), and post study (6 months after re-entry).
Extensive participant observation was essential to gaining an “emic,” or “insider,” view of the program, its surroundings and its participants. Data sources included individual interviews with participants, numerous questionnaires about their experiences, participants’ reflective papers and their final video project. The fieldwork conducted in this study uncovered details about the immigration history among the Ubaye Valley, parts of Mexico, and southern Louisiana. The development of this program abroad and its founding principles and goals were also unearthed.
Findings revealed that the lack of structure and organization of the pre-departure orientation left the participants anxious and unprepared for the program’s internships. The participants suggested ways to improve the pre-departure orientation and the program in general. They experienced minimal culture shock in France. However, some stress within the group was reported, as the participants grew frustrated with the constant interaction with one another. They perceived numerous benefits and positive effects from studying abroad, including in all areas of development which were investigated in the study (academic, personal, career, cultural and linguistic). Every participant believed the most substantial growth occurred in his or her cultural acquisition, followed by personal development. They also revealed what and how they learned from their experiences during the program’s internships and their outside-the-classroom contacts with host nationals and the French culture. The results have opened up new possibilities for inquiry into non-traditional programs and their connections to experiential learning.
Filename Size Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds)
28.8 Modem 56K Modem ISDN (64 Kb) ISDN (128 Kb) Higher-speed Access Schroth_diss.pdf 1.62 Mb 00:07:30 00:03:51 00:03:22 00:01:41 00:00:08
If you have questions or technical problems, please Contact LSU-ETD Support.