Monday, June 25, 2007

The State of Research on Heritage-Seeking in Study Abroad

Heritage-seeking in study abroad is not a new phenomenon. For decades, students have been traveling to and studying in countries and regions of the world where they share racial/ethnic, religious and/or linguistic connections. However, research on heritage-seeking in study abroad is relatively new. During the 1960’s and 1970’s a few studies emerged that focused on American Jewish students studying in Israel but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that we begin to see more research and attention paid to heritage-seeking in study abroad. While there is relatively little research on heritage-seeking in a study abroad context, there is a growing body of research and literature related to minority students studying abroad. Much of the literature identifies barriers to and factors influencing participation of minority students on study abroad programs and many studies on underrepresented students abroad offer only anecdotal observations and data on heritage-seeking. The majority of the current research on heritage-seeking in study abroad focuses on African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American students. However, there is literature that also focuses on heritage-seeking students studying in Western and Eastern Europe.

In an attempt to organize all of the known articles on heritage seeking in study abroad I have compiled and annotated a bibliography for use by students, study abroad administrators and researchers. This bibliography presents a broad listing of research studies, position papers, conference presentations and news articles on heritage seeking. This bibliography is available by e-mailing David Comp at This bibliography is currently being updated. Notifications of current research, comments and article submissions are invited and encouraged.

Originally published in IIENetworker: The International Education Magazine, 29 (Fall, 2006).