Foreign travel occupies a role in the development of global leadership, yet the function of higher education in that process is scarcely understood. This sequential explanatory mixed-methods study explored the perceived value that select doctoral students experienced during from their short-term course-based foreign travel. The first phase of the research included fifty students, while the second used a subset of 12 from the first phase. The students participated in an online quantitative survey, followed by optional interviews where the qualitative data were obtained. Quantitative and Qualitative research methods were used to analyze the data. The findings were presented in numerical and narrative formats, respectively. The results were consistent with the literature. They also provided additional insights that advance the burgeoning field of global leadership and substantiate more recent trends in the older, more established education abroad arena. The findings suggest specific aspects of academic course-based foreign travel aid in the development of global leadership skills. Participants cited peer-learning, scheduling concerns, overall organization, intercultural contact, theory to practice opportunities, and learning experience applicability as the drivers of value in their academic foreign travel experiences. The recommendations suggest that course-based foreign travel may benefit from designs that balance participants’ exposure to their peers, contact with the local population, and structured academic instruction. Additionally, doctoral students may consider other activities to increase cultural intelligence more broadly; as the results indicate a significant, positive correlation between the value of global learning experiences and cultural intelligence levels.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PhD) -- Global leadership and change; Graduate students; Foreign study -- Evaluation

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

McManus, John F.;