Travelling a thousand miles: Hong Kong Chinese students’ study abroad experience

Min YANG, Beverly WEBSTER, Michael PROSSER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


This study focused on Chinese students’ goals, experiences, and learning outcomes associated with their participation in study abroad. Data were drawn from survey responses from 214 undergraduates of a university in Hong Kong who studied or engaged in overseas internships/volunteer work in 20 countries. To explore the data, an experiential intercultural learning model was proposed. This model views study abroad as an active learning process in which study abroad goals motivate students to engage in experiences likely to enhance their intercultural, disciplinary/career, and personal competences. The findings suggested interrelatedness of students’ study abroad goals, host country experiences and learning outcomes. Specifically, alignment between students’ learning outcomes and study abroad goals was identified through a comparison of results from content analysis of students’ perception of important things learned (an open-ended item) and the descriptive statistics on students’ perception of achievement of study abroad goals. Correlation analysis indentified close relationships between students’ achievement of study abroad goals (i.e. personal development goals, intercultural development goals, and disciplinary/career development goals) and host country experiences (i.e. study/work experiences, intercultural experiences, and personal changes as a result of the experiences). Personal changes were correlated with intercultural experiences and with study/work experiences. The findings implied that for optimal student development via study abroad, students need to be encouraged in setting goals relating to intercultural, personal and academic/career development, and to orient actions toward such goals. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


Yang, M., Webster, B., & Prosser, M. (2011). Travelling a thousand miles: Hong Kong Chinese students’ study abroad experience. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(1), 69-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2010.09.010


  • Study abroad
  • Hong Kong Chinese students
  • Intercultural learning
  • Goals
  • Learning outcomes
  • Host country experiences


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