The numbers of UK students choosing to study abroad for a period has increased steadily over the years, with many students citing academic, professional, linguistic and cultural reasons as their key motivations. However, while there is an abundance of literature on the advantage of study abroad (SA) for linguistic learn-ing, there is less known about the academic impact of studying abroad. In addition, because SA is largely a process of self-selection, this makes it difficult to derive unbiased estimates of its impact on academic achievement. Using data on students from a London-based Russell Group university, and categorising SA students as those who participated in credit-seeking SA programmes through Erasmus or bilateral/multilateral agreements with partner universities, this paper uses individual fixed effects to compare the post-SA grades for students who sojourned with their expected grades had they not sojourned, as well as with their non-SA counterparts. The results are quite robust across sub-groups and indicate that grades in year 3 are less than expected for the SA group, given their pre-sojourn grades. To tackle the problem of self-selection, out-comes for SA students were compared to the group who applied but did not eventually study abroad, and to the outcomes for students who did not apply.
- Study Abroad