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Drew Lugar

Mentor Department



Michael Barrowclough

Co-Mentor Department



Study abroad programs increase a student’s exposure to different cultures, traditions and ways of life. Language, cultural and/or environmental barriers may present themselves during the program. These barriers have the potential to introduce additional stress, in conjunction with stress during a “traditional” college experience. This study examines the relationship that participating in a study abroad program has on student stress, whether physiological or perceived. Over a 12 day period in December 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico, students participated in an Animal Science focused study abroad program. In addition to student demographic information, heart rate variability and perceived stress surveys were collected before (PRE) and during (ABRD) the nearly two week program. Preliminary data analysis shows that: Caucasian students had higher overall perceived stress compared to non Caucasian students. Perceived stress scores were higher in the PRE phase compared to the ABRD phase

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