Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Kelly A. Way

Committee Member

Sabrina P. Trudo

Second Committee Member

Dede Hamm

Third Committee Member

Kathleen Smith

Keywords

Social sciences; Health and environmental sciences; Diversity; Emotional intelligence; Hospitality; Sudents; Study abroad; Sustainability

Abstract

This study investigated if there was a significant difference in hospitality students who did and did not participate in a study abroad program to determine if study abroad had an impact on their emotional intelligence, diversity, and sustainability awareness. The results of this study will assist both hospitality education and study abroad by providing information.

A descriptive, four-section survey was distributed online via Qualtrics utilizing snowball sampling. A total of 110 respondents participated in the study; 72 nonstudy abroad and 38 abroad. The respondents completed the questionnaire that measured emotional intelligence, career longevity, perceptions of diversity, sustainability awareness, and demographic information.

The results of this study indicated that students who studied abroad felt that the experience would influence the longevity of their career more than those participants who did not study abroad; suggesting those who studied abroad were more likely to stay in the hospitality industry longer. It is assumed that hospitality students who study abroad during their college career would be more likely to stay in the hospitality industry field; therefore, study abroad experiences could contribute to reducing turnover rate in the hospitality industry.

It is hoped the results of this study will lead to further research resulting in greater awareness of the benefits of study abroad and provide more accurate information on study abroad.

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