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Education Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 232687, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/232687
Research Article

The Racialized Impact of Study Abroad on US Students’ Subsequent Interracial Interactions

1Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Southwestern University, 1001 E. University Avenue, Georgetown, TX 78626, USA
2International Programs, Franklin and Marshall College, P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604, USA

Received 20 August 2014; Accepted 10 November 2014; Published 1 December 2014

Academic Editor: Bernhard Schmidt-Hertha

Copyright © 2014 Maria R. Lowe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Using an online survey of American undergraduate students, this paper serves as a case study of a liberal arts college located in the Southern United States (US) to explore the effects of studying abroad on students’ attitudes and behavior related to diversity upon their return to campus. We find that white students and students of color report significantly different study abroad experiences and distinct patterns related to their likelihood to engage with racial, but not other forms of, diversity when they return to their home university. Specifically, students of color are more likely than white students to report that their study abroad experiences have increased the likelihood that they interact more frequently with individuals from different racial backgrounds in a number of campus contexts. Utilizing existing literature and our qualitative data, we address possible reasons for these racialized patterns.