Understanding Student Interest In and Barriers to Outbound Mobility in a Liberal Arts University

The project will seek to create a stronger evidence base for outbound mobility through data collection and applied research, leading to the identification of pathways for program development. Given Canadian Mennonite University’s standing as a liberal arts university, this research will provide beneficial insight for this particular demographic of student to the more than thirty liberal arts Universities Canada members across the nation. The resulting reports will be made available to other Canadian universities through established relationships with other Manitoba universities and colleges through the Manitoba Outbound Mobility Special Interest Group, the GSO website, and through participation in and potential presentations at conferences related to outbound mobility, such as the annual Canadian Bureau for International Education conference.

The innovation project will contribute constructively to Estamos, the current GSO mobility project at CMU. Research will begin with a review of literature relating to barriers to outbound mobility and program development, including but not limited to other GSO-funded innovation projects. This literature review will help inform the surveys, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups at the heart of this project.

Through this research, the project will seek to determine what factors pique undergraduate student interest in outbound mobility programs, while also identifying barriers to participation and how students might be enabled to overcome them. A particular point of interest will be how the pandemic has influenced this interest. The researchers will also seek to identify pathways for improving pre-departure orientation and preparations.

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