The First Time Effect
The Impact of Study Abroad on College Student Intellectual Development
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Study abroad programs on American college and university campuses are booming, with a national goal of sending abroad one million students within ten years. In this timely and thought-provoking look at the benefits of studying abroad, Joshua S. McKeown moves beyond the acknowledged cultural and linguistic benefits to focus on how it promotes intellectual growth in participating students. He shows that for some students—particularly those without substantial prior international experience—study abroad is associated with significant gains in intellectual development. For those students who have traveled abroad previously, the same does not hold true. It is those students who lack meaningful international exposure who seem to benefit most from studying abroad. The First Time Effect describes in a straightforward way what is happening with today's study abroad students and holds broad implications for education policy and practice.
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