Date of Award

Spring 2018

Project Type


Program or Major

Recreation Management and Policy

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Nate E Trauntvein

Second Advisor

Robert J Barcelona

Third Advisor

Cindy L Hartman


Study abroad programs are promoted on the premise that they offer valuable cross-cultural experiences and provide students with desired 21st century skills including global awareness, cross-cultural communications, and intercultural sensitivity (IS); however, simply to send students abroad is not enough to ensure skill development. Rather, there is a need for intentional pedagogy. As Engle and Engle (2004) have suggested regarding IS, the most successful study abroad programs seem to include culturally relevant leisure within the host community. Moreover, the theoretical framework of Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity has suggested the importance of various culturally relevant leisure experiences in assisting students in progressing from the worldview of ethnocentrism to ethnorelativism. The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the relationship between participation in culturally relevant leisure during study abroad and IS. Findings suggest importance of leisure engagement in culturally relevant media during study abroad. Pedagogical implications will be discussed.