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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Angela Durán Real Surveys Study-Abroad Attitudes at Two-Year College

Angela and Asha with research posterAngela Durán Real (Spanish & Portuguese) has conducted an innovative survey on attitudes toward study-abroad programs at South Seattle College. She worked with Asha Esterberg Tran, her faculty mentor at South Seattle, with whom she was paired through the Simpson Center’s Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics program.

Angela shadowed Asha in Spanish classes over the past year, spending the fall and winter quarters getting to know students, building trust with them, and learning about the two-year-college environment. In the spring, the two conducted the survey, contributing to a national conversation on why students of color and low-income students are less likely to study abroad, and how programs might improve access.

Asked what three words come to mind with “study abroad,” South Seattle students gave answers that suggest the dilemmas presented by prohibitively expensive programs. The top terms: Expensive, experience adventure, life-changing, scary, daunting, stressful, diversity, regret, missed opportunity, dreams, impractical, and frivolous.

“Working on equity and accessibility to opportunities in higher education has been a unique opportunity,” Angela said. “It has pushed me to figure out how to translate the skills and knowledge acquired in grad school to a specific problem.”

Angela and Asha presented their research poster, “Equity and Accessibility in Higher Education: Shifting the Narrative about Studying Abroad,” at the UW Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership on May 11.

Angela is a Mellon Fellow for Reaching New Publics in the Humanities as well as a fellow in the Certificate in Public Scholarship and a participant in the Reading and Writing Affect graduate interest group.

Congratulations, Angela and Asha!

Poster of research findings