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As businesses expand to incorporate a more global perspective, study abroad programs are needed to help American college students compete with their international peers. Businesses are realizing that employees must possess skills that help with their understanding of and interaction with those from foreign countries. As a means of achieving this end, study abroad programs have become an increasingly important part of the educational experience for undergraduate students. Personal growth and interpersonal development are important aspects of being able to work effectively with others. Study abroad programs have long claimed that students make gains in these areas. This mixed-methods research study explored how emotional-social intelligence is impacted by participation in a long-term study abroad program. Specifically, the study sought to determine if there was a difference in the emotional-social intelligence scores of college students prior to and after their participation in a long-term study abroad program as measured by the EQ-i2.0. Additionally, the study used interviews to explore how college students view their long-term study abroad experience. The results demonstrated that there were statistically significant differences in the EQ-i2.0 pre-test and post-test scores of study participants before and after their participation in a long-term study abroad program. Specifically, the mean differences of total EQ, the self-perception and self-expression composite scales, and the self-regard and flexibility subscales were statistically significant. As it relates to the qualitative data, students reported that most of their experiences were related to developing a more accurate understanding of and acceptance of self, as well as becoming more self-reliant. In addition, students reported an increased desire to understand others. This included an appreciation for other people and other cultures.
College Students, Emotional Intelligence, Study Abroad
Date of Defense
September 24, 2014.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education.
Includes bibliographical references.
Robert A. Schwartz, Professor Directing Dissertation; Diana Rice, University Representative; Bradley Cox, Committee Member; Kathy Guthrie, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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