Communication Disorders Student Perceptions of the Study Abroad Experience Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine students' perceptions of participation in a speech-language pathology study abroad course with on-campus class meetings and an embedded 10-day trip to England and Ireland. Method The Department of Communication Disorders at Auburn University ... Article
Article  |   June 08, 2018
Communication Disorders Student Perceptions of the Study Abroad Experience
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Allison M. Plumb
    Department of Communication Disorders, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Laura B. Willis
    Department of Communication Disorders, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Allison M. Plumb has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Laura B. Willis has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Allison M. Plumb has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Laura B. Willis has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Allison M. Plumb has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Laura B. Willis has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Allison M. Plumb has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Laura B. Willis has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Part 1
Article   |   June 08, 2018
Communication Disorders Student Perceptions of the Study Abroad Experience
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, June 2018, Vol. 3, 14-28. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG17.5
History: Received July 28, 2017 , Revised January 25, 2018 , Accepted April 28, 2018
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, June 2018, Vol. 3, 14-28. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG17.5
History: Received July 28, 2017; Revised January 25, 2018; Accepted April 28, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine students' perceptions of participation in a speech-language pathology study abroad course with on-campus class meetings and an embedded 10-day trip to England and Ireland.

Method The Department of Communication Disorders at Auburn University collaborated with speech-language therapists in England and Ireland to facilitate a short-term study abroad program. Students enrolled in the course were surveyed following the trip, using an 18-item, web-based survey querying their experience. Fourteen of the 18 students responded, yielding a 78% response rate.

Results All respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the study abroad experience led to multiple benefits. Academic benefits of the trip included “increased knowledge” and “appreciation for the role of the SLP.” Personal gains included “bonds created” and “increased self-awareness.” With regard to recommendations for change, the main themes that emerged were increased affordability, more time abroad, and group discussion/case-based presentations at all sites, rather than a lecture format.

Conclusions Results of the current investigation on a discipline-specific study abroad program extend the previous literature on the benefits of study abroad and reveal academic/personal gains for students. Implications for program planning based on student feedback will be discussed.

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