Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Brad Olson

Second Advisor

Tiffeny Jimenez

Third Advisor

Judah Viola


This cohort and event-based case study sought to evaluate the cultural experiences and development of cross cultural intersectionalities in U.S. students of culture participating in a study abroad program to Argentina. Current study abroad outcomes consistently show travel abroad experiences lead to improved cultural awareness, knowledge, understanding and competency. Study abroad programming appears to be an overlooked opportunity for creating positive, long-lasting, transformative change, particularly for under-represented students (Milsen, 2005; Mondard-Weissman, 2003; Hadis, 2005; Van Hoff & Verbee, 2005). Over the last 30 years, international educators have reported positive changes in students after learning abroad; improved in self-awareness, respect for other cultures than their own, maturation, and global-mindedness (Hadis, 2005). Educators who have been focused on service-learning have advanced much in their social justice-related thinking. Research focusing on the intersectionality of U.S. students of color, with different levels of travel experience, going abroad to countries with very different cultures has been almost non-existent. Too often, since the inception of travel abroad work, the participants and the research on them have focused on more economically privileged white students from the United States. Yet the voices and experiences of underrepresented students, who arguably may even benefit more from broader exposure to different cultural systems, have not been hitherto looked at in the literature (Mitchell, 2012).