The purpose of the study was to determine the influence of participation in a study abroad program (SAP) on college students’ level of personal development. Data were collected via interviews. Qualitative data obtained from interviews were analyzed using inductive data analysis. It was found that students’ global perspectives were enhanced by the SAPs along with intercultural sensitivity, in which participants were more aware of and open to cultural diversity. The experience provided new challenges to participants and assisted them in becoming more self-confident. Study abroad students also were more likely to develop favorable attitudes toward their host country accompanied by some criticism toward the United States. Students gained new knowledge and skills from their study abroad experience. Personal interests, peer influence, desire to experience something different, and cost were important factors in motivating students to participate in SAPs. The findings have implications on understanding outcomes of SAPs in higher education and recommendations were provided.


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