Department of Applied Foreign Languages, Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, ROC (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Exposing to a new culture has always been a challenging part of short-term study abroad (exchange) programs. Studies have shown that these exposures, if handled correctly, should be able to provide valuable cross-cultural experiences. As the opportunities for study abroad kept increasing, understanding the changes that happen is quite crucial in preparing students before they embark to their exchange destination. To answer this question, the current study discusses the formation and validation of a set of behavioral, cognitive, and affective situational changes that students encounter during their study abroad duration in Taiwan. Focus group interviews were conducted to gather and collect a set of situational changes that most short-term study abroad students encounter. A pilot study was conducted on 219 students; afterwards the validated survey was administered nationwide with a total of 512 respondents. Structured equation modelling was used to present the confirmatory factor analysis of the measured dimensions. It is hoped that by having a validated set of situational changes that most study abroad students encounter, more effective pre/post travel preparations can be made. In addition, the data collected from the nationwide survey can also be used to determine the current state of short-term study abroad students in Taiwan.
Keywords: exchange students; study abroad; cross-cultural issues; internationalization; international students; culture learning