Lasting Impact of Study Abroad Experiences: A Collaborative Autoethnography


  • Jordana F. Garbati Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Nathalie Rothschild Concordia University



abroad, collaborative autoethnography, reflective practice, narrative study, second language teaching and learning, grounded theory methodology


Researchers in the field of study abroad have focused on language, identity construction, and motivation, yet few studies have shown its lasting impact on participants. This article contains the reflections of two individuals who took part in studies abroad and remain engaged in multicultural education and in the instruction and research of second language acquisition. We review the literature in the area of study abroad, then discuss the suitability of using a collaborative autoethnography (CAE) approach, defined as "the study of self collectively" (CHANG, WAMBURA NGUNJIRI & HERNANDEZ, 2013, p.11) for this project. We analyzed our data, which are in the form of reflective narratives and archived e-mails, through open coding, based on grounded theory methodology (see CORBIN & STRAUSS, 2015). Four major themes surfaced from our data analysis: language and culture; academics; identity; and lasting impact. Finally, we compare our experiences, identify some of the lasting effects of our time abroad, and consider both the practical and theoretical implications of the research. This research has been useful for us to understand CAE and the lasting effects of study abroad experiences on students who become language teachers.



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Author Biographies

Jordana F. Garbati, Wilfrid Laurier University

Dr. Jordana GARBATI is a writing consultant at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She holds a PhD in education with a focus on applied linguistics. Her current research interests include second language teaching and learning, writing, and business communication.

Nathalie Rothschild, Concordia University

Nathalie ROTHSCHILD is an instructor in the Department of Education at Concordia University, and a PhD candidate in developmental psychology and education at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her primary research interests are in the areas of kindergarten, early French immersion, and teacher education.




How to Cite

Garbati, J. F., & Rothschild, N. (2016). Lasting Impact of Study Abroad Experiences: A Collaborative Autoethnography. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 17(2).



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