Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2023

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Turner III

Second Advisor

Dr. Carole South-Winter

Third Advisor

Dr. Nathan J. Bates


Study Abroad, Second Language Acquisition, Identity, Intercultural Competence

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Community-Based Learning | Education | First and Second Language Acquisition | Language and Literacy Education | Language Interpretation and Translation | Linguistics | Other International and Area Studies | Place and Environment | Reading and Language | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This literature review examines key benefits of studying abroad, while investigating which elements most contribute to students’ overall success. Current literature suggests that benefits of studying abroad include, but are not limited to, second language acquisition (SLA), identity formation, and intercultural competence. The degree of which each is improved depends on a multitude of variables. SLA improvement is explored via consideration of students’ baseline proficiency level, degree of receptivity of the host country, and length of the study abroad program. Students’ identity formation is explained through the three bases of identity: person, role, and group/social. Finally, intercultural competence in study abroad is explored, in addition to characteristics that contribute to its growth. This thesis attempts to compile advice for students on a successful study abroad, in addition to the promotion of global citizenship.



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