Journal of Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research


A small, southeastern Christian university has two independent programs for students studying abroad or serving as missionaries for an academic year. This study examines the correlation between perceived support students felt from their university and their academic success in their first returning semester. Because of the differences in these programs our research sought to examine student perceived support before, during and after their year abroad with GPA before and after their experience. No correlation was found between perceived support and academic success, but findings showed that neither group of student sojourners felt significantly supported during the year abroad. Study abroad students’ GPA drop significantly in their first return semester while student missionaries’ GPA dropped only marginally. Further research should identify effective means to increase perceived support of students while abroad and to determine if learning shock may explain the significant drop in study abroad student GPAs.