The research I plan on undertaking has been inspired by my curiosity blog post on cultural curiosity, this research is exploring an aspect of cultural curiosity, international student exchange. There are known benefits that have been studied for students who go on an international exchange at some point in their degree, such as personal developments and labour market returns (Souto-Otero et al. 2013). My research question asks If: ‘Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies (BCMS) 2nd year University of Wollongong (UOW) students value international exchange experiences and how do their exchange rates in 2016 compare to other 2nd year University of Wollongong (UOW) students in Arts, Science and Law faculties?’ This question contains two parts, part one aims to establish what BCMS 2nd year UOW students think about the option of exchange. Whether they are going on or considering exchange and briefly exploring reasons why they are or are not going on an exchange. The second part aims to gather statistics, from the UOW Global Student Mobility Office, of exchange rates between 2nd year BCMS students and 2nd year students pursuing a Bachelor degree across the other University of Wollongong faculties (UOW). With universities and employers pushing and holding high regard for students and graduates to have international experience it is important to observe student’s views on the topic and how important they feel international exchange is. As well as if there are any barriers that prevent them from taking this step. The comparison through statistical analysis between degrees going on exchange in 2016 from different faculties will allow further exploration into whether some students groups value international exchange more than others.
There are two methods going to be used to gather data, the first method corresponding to the first aim of the research question. A survey, on Survey Monkey, of 2nd year BCMS students will be distributed via a Twitter hashtag used by BCMS students, along with two further reminder tweets, and a printed version in a BCM212 subject lecture. The survey will not require their name; however, it will require their student number to ensure students can only fill it out once. The student number will not be used further in the study to ensure the privacy of the respondents. The second method is gathering secondary data from Global Student Mobility at UOW, this being their statistical data on student exchange by selected degrees across each faculty. This all enabling the gathering of relevant data for the answering of the research questions aims.
Souto-Otero, Huisman , J, Beerkens, M, de Wit, H, Vujic´, S 2013 , ‘Barriers to International Student Mobility: Evidence From the Erasmus Program Manuel’, Educational Researcher, Vol. 42, No. 2, p. 1, Viewed on 10 March 2017, Link