Marketing the Study Abroad Experience: An Investigation of Student Motivations and Obstacles to Studying Abroad
Study abroad provides an opportunity for students to grow, earn academic credit, and explore the world. The experience helps students develop a new set of skills and engage in another culture. However, only a small percentage of students across the United States participate in this opportunity. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate why students study abroad or choose not to. More specifically, this study examines the motivations and obstacles students have to studying abroad. The other questions that contribute to this study are: Why are students unable to study abroad? How do certain personality traits affect a student's choice to study abroad? How can university study abroad organizations attract more students to participate in their programs? Before conducting research, the author reflected on her reasons for studying abroad, the problems she encountered, and her overall experience. Based on her experience and knowledge as an ASU Study Abroad Recruiter, she identified the different types of students who have not studied abroad. These are: students who plan to study abroad, are unable to study abroad, and who do not want to study abroad. To address the purpose of this study, the author created survey questions based on her experience and background research. She conducted research through a survey on Qualtrics and administered it to college students in the W.P. Carey School of Business. After reviewing the results, she came to several conclusions that can serve as guidelines for marketing study abroad to different types of students. Based on these conclusions, the author developed marketing messages to appeal to students with certain personality traits as well as to students who have not studied abroad. For each message, she created a sample of an ad that can be used in print materials or social media campaigns.