College student identity formation and negotiation in the context of study abroad.



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The distinct structure and environment of institutions of higher learning directly influence and validate the identities, roles, and statuses of students. Study abroad programs represent one such sub-environment of colleges and universities, wherein the conceptualization and negotiation of students’ identities may be affected by distinct actors and experiences. Studying abroad, then, has the potential to influence the ways in which students make sense of themselves, those around them, and the world at large. This research study sought to answer the following question: How does the transitional experience of studying abroad affect how college students conceptualize and negotiate their identities, roles, and statuses? Ultimately, students' backgrounds, language skills, connections to program faculty, and efforts at integration shaped identity formation in the context of study abroad.