The Study Abroad Experiences of Secondary Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Students
Keywords:career determination, cultural awareness, global competence, self-awareness, study abroad
The purpose of this research was to explore the study abroad experiences of secondary school Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR) students as they relate to career determination, self-awareness, cultural awareness, and global competence. There were two distinct samples from which data were collected: (a) students who participated in a secondary school study abroad experience and (b) a comparison group of undergraduate students at [University] enrolled in AFNR Education without secondary school AFNR study abroad experience. Both groups were given a survey measuring number of countries visited, career determination, self-awareness, cultural awareness, global competence, and demographics. Results illuminate several trends worthy of further consideration, including AFNR travelers reported higher levels of global competency and cultural awareness when juxtaposed to the comparison group. Examining the relationships among variables, cultural awareness and number of countries visited yielded the strongest relationship. None of the correlations were statistically significant; therefore, potential conclusions are limited. From this exploration, encouraging both students and teachers in natural sciences programs to explore opportunities for international study abroad focused on AFNR, especially when programmatic objectives include student development of global competence and cultural awareness, is recommended.
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