The purpose of this paper is to create a segmentation scheme to better understand different student groups based on their motivations, attitudes and preferences related to studying abroad.
The study uses a two-step approach – in phase one, a series of 15 semi-structured interviews are conducted with students in an effort to uncover depth information related to key motivations, attitudes and preferences related to study abroad. This is followed up by phase two which uses the data from phase one to develop and administer an online survey to collect quantitative data related to student study abroad perceptions.
Results indicate that there are two broad segments of students based on their study abroad motivations, attitudes and preferences. The larger segment, termed the “externally-motivated familiarity seekers”, represents 62 per cent of students, while the smaller segment, labeled the “internally-motivated adventure seekers” represents 38 per cent of students. Further results show that the majority of students are interested in short-term study abroad.
The study was conducted at one University in the Midwestern region of the USA. Further research using samples from different geographic areas would help improve efficacy of the results.
The results have significant value for higher education institutions focused on optimizing their study abroad offerings to bring about a program-student fit that will create additional value for a variety of students.
This study is intended to understand key student motivations and preferences related to study abroad and as such provide higher educational institutions with practical insights that they can use to offer the right types of study abroad programs that will enhance value for a variety of students.
The author would like to acknowledge funding from the Kansas State University College of Business Summer Grant Program that helped fund this research.
Janda, S. (2016), "Segmenting students based on study abroad motivations, attitudes, and preferences", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 111-122. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIEB-06-2016-0013Download as .RIS
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