Study abroad has its advantages and disadvantages, which can vary depending on background, support, or cultural upbringing. Individuals that participate in study abroad face a variety of factors that contribute to their participation or their lack of regarding care for diverse populations. PURPOSE: It is important to look at the impact that an individual’s cultural background has on supporting the education that is to be gained from study abroad experiences. Then, it is necessary to understand how these experiences translate into the individual’s healthcare practice. METHOD: This study assessed data from any health care providers age 18 and older whom participated in study of broad programs out of the United States of America, whether as part of their education program or as a professional. This study looked at the cultural background of the individual and compared experiences amongst the different races. The data was obtained via a 15-question mixed method survey. The questions consisted of multiple choice, open ended, and subjective based on a Likert scale. All participants completed the survey were volunteers and were recruited via email or social media. RESULTS: 95% of respondents are credentialed as athletic trainers with 60% responding as Caucasian, 25% African-American, and 15% as Hispanic or Latino. Countries traveled to for these experiences included Spain, Argentina, Costa Rica, Italy, Taiwan, and Ireland with 10 days being the most common duration. Participants did not show any statistical significance based on gender (p=.452) nor ethnicity (p=.718) when asked about the positive impact that study abroad had on their clinical experience. 100% also stated they would endorse study abroad for anyone going into healthcare as they believed that understanding the different cultures, customs, and beliefs helped them understand their patients more as well as exposing them to the delivery of care in various countries. While acknowledging they had family support to make this trip, 25% noted that they were in financial chaos or avoidance at the time of their study abroad. CONCLUSION: With the support of family and educational programming, healthcare providers can enhance their clinical skills and understanding through study abroad experiences. Financial awareness needs to be addressed when planning so that more students may partake of these opportunities to benefit their future careers and patients.
"Advantages of Study Abroad for Multicultural Participants,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 2:
14, Article 148.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss14/148