Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

Needy, Kim LaScola

Reader

Pohl, Edward

Abstract

As international education opportunities increase in popularity among U.S. college students (McMurtrie, 2007), it is becoming more and more necessary for study abroad organizations to be aware of the risks students face as they travel abroad. While some international cities are riskier than others, it can be difficult to distinguish between cities which truly carry a high degree of risk for visiting students, and which cities are only perceived to be risky based on various personal misconceptions. The University of Arkansas Office of Study Abroad & International Exchange currently lacks a way to quantifiably analyze the risk of study abroad programs, making it difficult to identify areas where additional student and faculty training programs are necessary to mitigate risk.

The purpose of this honors thesis is to document the process of developing a tool that takes into account multiple risk criteria in order to create a risk profile for popular study abroad destinations. By providing the user(s) of the tool with a composite risk value for each program, study abroad office staff and program coordinators will gain critical insight into the risks a student or group of students might face while traveling to particular destinations. With a better understanding of how safe each individual program is, study abroad staff members will be able to more strategically focus their educational programs and staff training, targeting particularly risky destinations in order to mitigate the potential threats associated with those programs. Furthermore, by comparing these program risk values to a familiar baseline, staff will be able to identify study abroad programs in which there is more negative perception than actual risk, which will help eliminate misconceptions of the dangers of certain global locations.

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