Athena’s Passport Issue #2

Athena’s Passport – Your Ticket to “Taste the World”


Athena's Passport: Your Entry Into Our World of Study Abroad
Partner Newsletter | May 15, 2019 | New series issue #2

Extra! Extra!

Connect with Athena and our
Global Learning Collective Partners at NAFSA

We at Athena Study Abroad are excited to connect with many of you at the NAFSA conference in D.C. later this month! Athena will be exhibiting at a beautiful island booth (#1701) with our Global Learning Collective partners in NAFSA’s expo hall.

The Collective represents the collaboration
of (not the merger of)
five personalized, smaller, mission-driven international education organizations. Our shared goal is to connect more corners of the world through this partnership of our like-minded and value-driven organizations. The Collective partners – Athena, Asia Institute, Campus b, CEPA, and EDU Africa – are proud to exhibit together to discuss creative study abroad programming options and connect colleagues from across the globe!


We invite you to come by our booth and grab a Collective button, which is your entry ticket to our “Taste of the World” Reception at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 at the Collective booth.

Four Athena team members are attending this year’s NAFSA conference:

  • Stacy McKay Benander, MA
    • Founder and President
  • John Benander
    • Vice President of Development
  • Dane Claussen, Ph.D., MBA
    • Manager of University Relations
  • Cassandra Begin
    • Outreach Coordinator
If you’d like to set up meetings with any of us please be in touch, as we look forward to meeting with as many of our study abroad friends from around the world as possible!


In this issue…

We at Athena are thrilled to be hosting our 4th Annual Global Give Fundraiser, benefitting the GoAbroad Foundation, which will also take place during NAFSA.

Find out more about this exciting annual event below, and plan to schedule a few minutes during your busy conference to donate to help students in the Philippines.

Reminder! – Vote for Athena!

Reminder! Athena Study Abroad is one of the finalists for the 2019 GoAbroad Innovation Awards People’s Choice Award (for the 5th year in a row)!

Have you voted for Athena yet? You still have time! Voting will close at 11:59PM EST on Wednesday, May 29.

Top 10 list: Great places to visit in Cape Town

Athena’s own Dr. Dane Claussen was in South Africa recently, and shared his top 10 list of can’t-miss places in Cape Town!
Around the Field: Program Feature
University of Akron’s Study Abroad Course in Tahiti

Eleven students and two professors from the University of Akron will research geckos and fish in Tahiti for two weeks starting in late May in a study abroad version of the university’s vertebrate zoology course.
Successfully putting together a study abroad program in such an unusual and remote location (more than 2,600 miles from either Hawaii or New Zealand) is the result of many factors. The faculty, Dr. Richard Londraville and Dr. Peter Niewiarowski, have taught a vertebrate zoology course abroad many times, and not only in French Polynesia, but also in San Salvador and the Florida Keys.
Heather N. Pollock, Akron’s study abroad coordinator and a professor of classics, said, “It’s a beautiful blend of classroom and applied learning.
This is the model that we are trying to develop here at UA.”

Research Explores the Study Abroad Immersion Preference
By Dane S. Claussen, Ph.D., MBA
Manager of University Relations
Athena Study Abroad

“Support for a Multidimensional Model of Study Abroad Immersion Preference,” by Susan B. Goldstein (University of Redlands), was published in the Spring 2019 Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, posted April 24, 2019.
More than 250 undergraduates, excluding students who already had studied abroad, completed an anonymous online survey at one institution where 50% of students study abroad. About 70% of students were female, about 76% were first year, and about 50% were white. About 30%
spoke a language other than English at home and 75% had traveled outside the USA. Respondents were enrolled in a large introductory psychology course with a wide variety of majors (or intended majors); most students majored or planned to major in social and natural sciences (including math). Students answered questions about demographics, campus involvement, “study abroad exposure,” adventurousness, language interest, cultural intelligence, and study abroad preferences using questions and scales previously found valid and reliable.
Results showed, “those who preferred programs of longer duration were less likely to be first generation students or to be engaged in paid work that assists with family expenses and were likely to have greater exposure to study abroad, a family who views study abroad favorably, and a high adventurousness score…


[T]hose who preferred programs with a target language requirement were more likely to speak a language other than English at home, were more involved in campus organizations, had higher scores on the measure of language interest (IFLS score), and had lower scores on CQ-Metacognitive…As compared with students who preferred coursework in English only, those who indicated a preference for a language of instruction that was partly or fully non-English scored lower on CQ-Metacognitive and higher on the language interest and CQ-Cognitive measures…. [S]tudents who were involved in more campus organizations were most likely to prefer an internship while abroad, whereas preference for volunteer work was best predicted by being female, a Student
of Color, and having previous travel experience.”
Strengths of the study include use of various previously validated measures, sophisticated statistical analysis, and collection of extensive data on numerous measures. Reported weaknesses included stated student preferences rather than choices, data from only one university, and not enough data from minority ethnic/racial groups for analysis. Goldstein also reported that students may not have interpreted one scale as intended, which is a validity and/or reliability problem. Additional weaknesses included a small, self-selected, nonrandom, and non-representative sample; a larger sample might have yielded more easily explainable results on a few points as well as strengthened results regarding statistical significance.


Program Highlight: Featured Italy Programs

PROGRAM: Sant’Anna Institute and Athena are a perfect match when it comes to our shared missions of personalized study abroad and an active focus on service learning & volunteerism. Giving back & global citizenry are both at the center of what we both do.

TERMS: Spring, Fall, Maymester, Summer

COURSES: Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Arts, Business


Fall 2019 – Deadline extended to June 1!


PROGRAM: LdM-Florence offers a wide variety of courses, term offerings all year long, and most importantly, strong
personalized attention for our students.
This program also has a state-of-the-art cooking facility in the city-center so you can learn to ‘feed’ your gastronomic addiction!
TERMS: Spring, J-Term, Fall, Summer
COURSES: Humanities, Social Sciences, Arts, Business

If you’re studying sciences, don’t think you have to stay home anymore! Athena’s Rome campus offers cutting edge math and science labs nestled above the old Roman streets. LdM-Rome is a great blend of big city, small school and cultural

Spring, Summer, Fall

COURSES: Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Arts, Business

Study Abroad in the News

Athena Study Abroad

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