Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
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Students’ experiences abroad can vary a great deal and their identity plays a critical role in shaping their experiences. This study employed sociocultural theory, Critical Race Theory and Bourdieu’s notions of habitus and capital to explore the experiences of four groups of US undergraduates enrolled in four study abroad programs in Spain sponsored by a large US university located in the South East. Findings showed how students’ identity intersected and shaped their journey and impacted their social integration. The examples of Albert, Theresa, and Rebecca, three focal students, allowed for the analysis of how differently students’ identity, notably gender, race, ethnicity, age, social class, and nationality, affected their interactions with locals and perceptions of the target language, culture, and society. Important implications are discussed, including the importance of training study abroad participants before, during and after the trip, and selecting activities that facilitate greater and more sustained social integration.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): foreign language education; identity; social integration; Spanish; study abroad
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