Study Abroad and Subsequent Academic Performance: Evidence from Administrative Data

There has been a growing trend in recent years towards third level students studying abroad for a semester or more as part of their degree programme. For example, in Europe, around 2 million students participated in the EU’s Erasmus+ exchange programme between 2014 and 2020. Numerous benefits have been linked to study abroad, including improved language skills, increased intercultural awareness, greater labour market mobility, and enhanced confidence and communication skills. Nonetheless, research on the relationship between study abroad and subsequent academic performance at the home institution is extremely limited. In fact, despite the significant public investment directed towards study abroad schemes, there is considerable uncertainty surrounding the short-term academic benefits of programme participation. In this context, this research analysed administrative data on business studies students at an Irish university to examine this issue.

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