By Olivia Blanco
Collaborating to better understand student attitudes toward study abroad programs, Bente Janda, director of undergraduate student services in the College of Business Administration, and Swinder Janda, professor of marketing and Robert M. Edgerley chair in global business, presented a paper at the 2013 World Marketing Congress in Melbourne, Australia in July. The conference was co-organized by the Academy of Marketing Science and Monash University.
According to their research, students choose to study abroad for personal development and to enhance friendships. Shorter duration programs — up to six weeks — seem to be more popular as compared to longer ones — more than six weeks. Studying abroad as a way to enhance foreign language competencies was found to be a motivation for a smaller group of students. Further, students who study abroad develop enhanced cultural understanding and get motivated to engage in future international travel experiences.
“This study provided insights into more effective and targeted ways of promoting study abroad to college students,” Bente Janda said.
For the paper, titled “Understanding College Students’ Study Aboard Motivations and Preferences,” the researchers utilized a two-step design to gather data. The first step entailed a series of phenomenological interviews, while the second step used an online survey.
Swinder Janda, who has previously designed and led 14 trips with business students to Argentina, Belgium, China, Chile, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, has utilized his research findings to enhance his faculty-led trips in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
“Offering different types of study aboard opportunities based on structure and duration, type of travel possibilities within the program, and type of living arrangements can help increase student study abroad involvement,” Swinder Janda said.
The Academy of Marketing Science is a full-service, international and professional organization that is devoted to high standards in creating and encouraging marketing knowledge. The academy was established in 1971 and a year later developed the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science that is recognized as a premier research marketing journal. A conference is conducted every year for the world’s leading academics and researchers in the field of marketing.
During Thanksgiving break 2013, he and 20 students traveled to Barcelona and Rome. He hopes to continue this trip for Thanksgiving break 2014. In spring 2014, he will also be taking a trip with the International Business Program with 22 students. They will travel to London and Munich. The spring 2014 trip will be Swinder Janda’s 10th year taking students on that trip and he also will continue that trip for spring 2015.