The Impact of Study Abroad on the Development of Pro-environmental Attitudes

By Richard Rexeisen.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study examines both the efficacy and durability of changes in student attitudes toward the physical environment as a result of a semester-long study abroad program. Consistent with previous studies, we find that study abroad has a positive impact on a student’s eco-worldview as measured by Dunlap’s (2000) revised New Environmental Paradigm Scale. We find, however, that student attitudes continue to evolve and change after returning to their home institution, in some instances exhibiting unexpected improvement, and in other cases there is evidence of a decline in attitudes towards the environment. Gender is also found to be a significant moderator of student attitudes towards the environment.

Keywords: Study Abroad, Environmental Attitudes, Assessment

The International Journal of Sustainability Education, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp.7-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 581.558KB).

Dr. Richard Rexeisen

Professor, College of Business, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, USA

Rich Rexeisen is a professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. He has 30 years of experience in higher education. He actively publishes and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice and Industrial Marketing Management. His current research interests focus on how study abroad impacts the development of cross-cultural sensitivity, attitudes towards the environment, and moral reasoning. He also conducts research and publishes in the area of student outcomes assessment. He has travelled extensively and has served on multiple occasions as the faculty director for the Opus London Business Semester program. He also taught in the Semester at Sea program.