Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Why do so few male students study abroad?

[M]en are missing out on what for many is one of college’s most gratifying and memorable experiences—and one that can help them land a job after graduation too.
That's from this Atlantic article, which gives various theories for why study abroad students are overwhelmingly female — about two-thirds. Only part of that could be explained by women generally outnumbering men on campus.

The article says:
Samantha Brandauer, who runs Dickinson College’s study-abroad office, told me she has experienced this firsthand. In her past job at Gettysburg College, she teamed up with a colleague to convene student focus groups on why men didn’t go abroad and what the college could do about it. What she discovered was a “bro mentality” among men in college—a culture in which male students don’t want to leave their friends to study abroad and are heavily influenced by their classmates in making choices about what to do in college. “Part of this is a messaging problem, because the way we talk about study abroad as a transformative experience just doesn’t resonate with college-age men,” Brandauer says. “They don’t want to be transformed.”
That's related to the simple yet plausible explanation told to us by the woman who led the orientation of my London study abroad program in 2002.

She said: “Going to another country is giving up control. And women are more comfortable than men at not being in control.”