Understanding study abroad participants’ career decisions and perspectives in US higher education

Jae Eun Jon, Yun Jeong Shin, Gerald W. Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study explores how American study abroad participants make educational and career choices after their return, drawing on career identity development as a theoretical lens. With 37 individual interviews from the SAGE project, the findings show that study abroad participants developed their career identity, and thereby made relevant decisions regarding their education and career paths. They developed a clear understanding about themselves, their goals and interests for further education and future careers. This helped them choose the work environment that they want and believe fits best for them. In many cases, they chose internationally oriented careers. In addition, from the better understanding of themselves and experiences of the specific contexts in the destination countries, participants developed work value toward the public good and community impact. The findings suggest the importance of understanding the meaning of study abroad experiences and how learning occurs based on the relevant theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund (of 2018) [grant number 20181143001] and the US Department of Education under Title VI: International Research and Studies Program (2006?2010) [grant number P017A060057]. Data in this study are from the ?Beyond Immediate Impact: Study Abroad for Global Engagement (SAGE) project.? The authors also extend thanks to partner institutions and the SAGE research team.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 British Association for International and Comparative Education.


  • Beyond Immediate Impact: Study Abroad for Global Engagement (SAGE) project
  • career identity
  • international career
  • study abroad


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