Abstract

Purpose of the study: The purpose of this study is to investigate Saudi student's academic, cultural, and social benefits gained through their involvement in experiential learning programs (ELPs) at higher institutions in the US.

Methodology: The study employed an interpretive qualitative design. Data collection comprised 16 individual semi-structured interviews with junior and senior Saudi male and female students enrolled in the colleges of business and engineering.

Main Findings: Findings revealed an overall level of satisfaction among participants, especially with respect to gains in academic knowledge, personal growth, and leadership skills. ELP workplace challenges largely related to the educational, social, and cultural backgrounds of the study participants. Sociocultural benefits were inconsistent, most notably regarding gender and group interactions between Saudi and American members.

Implications: Involving in such experiential Learning Programs increased potential participation in such practices for Saudi students when they go back to work in their home country after completing their study abroad.

Novelty: The study addresses ways to improve the ELP experience for Saudi students, improve EL programs for organizers, and other prospective Saudi students who decide to study in the west.

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