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Through ethnographic interviews and auto-ethnographic reflections of Illinois State University students about the meanings and experiences of study abroad, demonstrates that students imagine the study abroad experience as that which is individually transformative, advantageous within the employment sector, and an experience that increases cultural competence and global citizenship. Study abroad participation is influenced by race and socioeconomic status; individual habitus is argued to factor into how study abroad is perceived. Focusing on how class and race determine the ways in which study abroad is constructed through analysis of the meanings of the study abroad experience through imagined, transformed, and activated cultural and social capital will answer larger questions about the state of study abroad programming in the 21st century.


Final project report completed as part of the course, Anthropology 302, Ethnography, with Dr. Gina Hunter, Fall 2014