Year of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Interdisciplinary Studies

Department or School/College

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Committee Chair

Udo Fluck

Commitee Members

Gyda Swaney, Cheryl VanDenburg, Aaron W. Andreason, Darrell Stolle

Keywords

Cross-cultural adjustment, Grounded Theory, Interdisciplinary Studies, Qualitative Case Study, Reentry Shock, Reverse Culture Shock

Publisher

University of Montana

Abstract

Reentry Shock had been studied through psychological symptoms and inter-relationship problems. Previous research also focused on quantitative data of post-experience questionnaires. This dissertation examines how reentry support programs help students during the reentry process and how participants integrate the study abroad experience into their academic careers. A case study methodology was employed and qualitative data was gathered from eight students who volunteered to participate in two 90 minute workshops and an individual interview. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the data with NVivo. Thematic analysis revealed a reentry process where students became aware of: a) the different ways they changed and reacted to changes in their sense of self, b) changes in their language use, c) their use of coping strategies, and d) how they incorporated the experience in their present educational journeys and future careers. Overall, participants' responses revealed a need for an opportunity and a place where returning students can validate both their study abroad and reentry experiences.

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© Copyright 2013 Raquel Alexandra Arouca