The time abroad project – German and British students’ expectations for their stay abroad
Keywords:Erasmus exchange, time abroad, language study, student expectations, profiles of exchange students, higher education
In the UK the number of students studying for a language degree and spending an extended period abroad has been declining for some years. This trend has a negative effect on the number of incoming students too since student exchange is often based on bilateral agreements between institutions. In order to work towards overcoming the reluctance of UK students to go on a placement abroad, it is important to gain a better understanding of typical student profiles and their expectations of an exchange semester. Using a quantitative research approach this study looks at British and German students’ expectations before their time abroad and their views after their return. The results show similarities between the two cohorts, but also striking differences. In particular, the expectations regarding students’ main goals vary considerably.
Anderson, P., Lawton, L., Rexeisen, R. and A. Hubbard. 2006. “Short-term study abroad and intercultural sensitivity: A study”. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 30: 457-469.
British Academy. 2011. “A position statement. Language matters more and more.” http://www.all-languages.org.uk/uploads/files/Press%20Releases/LMmm%20 -%20A%20Position%20Statement.pdf.
British Academy. 2012. “A position statement. Valuing the year abroad. The importance of the year abroad as part of a degree programme for UK students.” http://www.britac.ac.uk/policy/Valuing_The_Year_Abroad.cfm.
British Academy. 2013. “Languages: The state of the nation. Demand and supply of language skills in the UK.” http://www.britac.ac.uk/policy/State_of_the_ Nation_2013.cfm.
British Council. 2013. “Languages for the future.” https://www.britishcouncil.org/ sites/default/files/languages-for-the-future-report-v3.pdf.
Canning, J. 2011. “A survey of non-specialist language learners in UK higher education 2010.” UCML (University Council of Modern Languages). http://www. ucml.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Survey%20of%20non-specialist%20language%20 learners%202011.pdf.
CfBT Education Trust 2014. “Language Trends 2013/14. The state of language learning in primary and secondary schools in England.” http://www. britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/language-trends-survey-2014.pdf.
Coleman, J. 1998. “Language learning and study abroad: The European perspective.” Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad 4 (2): 167-203.
Coleman, J. 2003. “Students’ voices on residence abroad. Proceedings of setting the agenda: Language, linguistics and area studies in higher education” (UMIST, June 2002). http://www.llas.ac.uk//resources/paper/1259.
Coleman, J. 2011. “Modern Languages in the United Kingdom.” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 10 (2): 127-129.
Coleman, J. 2013. “Researching whole people and whole lives.” Social and cultural aspects of language learning in study abroad. Ed. C. Kinginger. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 17-44.
Coleman, J. 2015. “Social circles during residence abroad: What students do, and who with.” Social interaction, identity and language learning during residence abroad. Eds. R. Mitchell, N. Tracy-Ventura and K. McManus. 33-51. http://www.eurosla.org/eurosla-monograph-series-2/social-interaction-identity-and-language-learning-during-residence-abroad/.
Coleman, J. and T. Chafer. 2010. “Study abroad and the internet: Physical and virtual context in an era of expanding telecommunications.” Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad XIX: 151-167.
Coleman, J., Galaczi, A. and L. Astruc. 2007. “Motivation of UK school pupils towards foreign languages: a large-scale survey at Key Stage 3.” Language Learning Journal 35 (2): 245-280.
Collentine, J. 2009. “Study abroad research: Findings, implications, and future directions.” The handbook of language teaching. Eds. M. Long and C. Doughty. Singapore: Blackwell Publishing. 214-233.
Council of Industry and Higher Education. 2007. Global Horizons for UK students. A guide for universities. https://e4eresources.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/ global-horizons-for-uk-students.pdf.
Full Fact. The UK’s independent fact-checking charity. https://fullfact.org/europe/ british-students-and-eu/; published 12/1/2016.
Garbati, J. and N. Rothschild. 2016. “Lasting impact of study abroad experiences: a collaborative autoethnography.” FQS Forum: Qualitative Social Research 17 (2), Art. 23, 18 pages. http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.PHp/fqs.
Gutiérrez Almarza, G., Durán Martínez, A. and F. Beltrán Llavador. 2015. “Identifying students’ intercultural communicative competence at the beginning of their placement: towards the enhancement of study abroad programmes.” Intercultural Education 26 (1): 73-85.161
Gutiérrez Almarza, G., Durán Martínez, A. and F. Beltrán Llavador. 2017. “Approaching Erasmus students’ intercultural communicative competence through their socialisation patterns.” Journal of English Studies 15: 89-106.
Huensch, A. and N. Tracy-Ventura. 2017. “L2 utterance fluency development before, during, and after residence abroad: a multidimensional investigation.” The Modern Language Journal 101 (2): 275-293.
Houghton, S. 2014. “Exploring manifestations of curiosity in study abroad as part of intercultural communicative competence.” System 42: 368-382. http://doi. org/ 10.1016/j.system.2013.12.024.
IEREST project. Intercultural Education Resources for Erasmus Students and their Teachers. http://www.ierest-project.eu.
Jones, E. 2011. Global Perspectives and the role of languages. Shaping the future. UCML (University Council of Modern Languages). http://www.ucml. ac.uk/sites/default/files/shapingthefuture/102/13%20-%20Elspeth%20Jones%20 inter%20resource%20template_0.pdf.
Kinginger, C. 2013. “Identity and language learning in study abroad.” Foreign Language Annals 46 (3): 339-358.
Knight, J. 2004. “Internationalization Remodeled: Definition, Approaches, and Rationales.” Journal of Studies in International Education 8 (1): 5-31.
Lanvers, U. and J. Coleman. 2013. “The UK language learning crisis in the public media: a critical analysis.” The Language Learning Journal. http://doi.org/ 10.1080/09571736.2013.830639.
Parey, M. and F. Waldinger. 2007. “Studying Abroad and the Effect on International Labor Market Mobility: evidence from the introduction of ERASMUS. http:// eprints.lse.ac.uk/19383/1/Studying_Abroad_and_the_Effect_on_International_ Labor_Market_Mobility_Evidence_from_the_Introduction_of_Erasmus.pdf.
Segalowitz, N. and B. Freed. 2004. “Context, contact, and cognition in oral fluency acquisition.” Studies in Second Language Acquisition 26: 173-199.
Smolcic, E. 2013. “Opening up to the world? Developing interculturality in an international field experience for ESL teachers.” Social and cultural aspects of language learning in study abroad. Ed. C. Kinginger. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 75-99.
Swain, M. 1995. “Three functions of output in second language learning.” Principle and practice in the study of language. Eds. G. Cook and B. Seidelhofer. Oxford: OUP. 125-143.
Tanikawa, M. 2013. “More young Japanese heading abroad to study.” New York Times. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/asia/25iht-educside25.html?_r=0>.162
Teichler, U. 2015. “The impact of temporary study abroad.” Social interaction, identity and language learning during residence abroad. Eds. R. Mitchell, N. Tracy-Ventura and K. McManus. 15-32. http://www.eurosla.org/eurosla-monograph-series-2/social-interaction-identity-and-language-learning-during-residence-abroad/.
Van Maele, J. Vassilicos, B. and C. Borghetti. 2016. “Mobile students’ appraisal of keys to successful stay abroad experience: hints from the IEREST project.” Language and Intercultural Communication 16 (3): 384-401.
Williams, T. 2005. “Exploring the Impact of Study Abroad on Students’ Intercultural Communication Skills: Adaptability and Sensitivity.” Journal of Studies in International Education 9: 356-371.
Zimmermann, J. and F. Neyer. 2013. “Do we become a different person when hitting the road? Personality development and sojourners.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 105 (3): 515-530.
How to Cite
The authors retain copyright of articles and authorize Journal of English Studies the first publication. They are free to share, redistribute, and/or reprint the article without obtaining permission from the publisher as long as they give appropriate credit to the editor and the journal.
Self-archiving is allowed too. In fact, it is recommendable to deposit a PDF version of the paper in academic and/or institutional repositories.
It is recommended to include the DOI number.This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License