Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications

Major Professor

Carrie Stephens

Committee Members

Christopher Stripling, Tom Gill


The purpose of this study was to describe student’s perceptions of a study abroad trip to Australia designed to include Kolb’s (2014) principles of experiential learning. Activities conducted were in effort to increase students’ international perspectives in the areas of leadership, education, communications, and extension. In an effort to remain true to the experiential learning process, students selected organizations from a generated list in which students learned about leadership, education, communications or extension. Six students, one male and five females, were involved in the study abroad trip to Australia for 21 days. Throughout the 21 days, interviews were conducted with the students about their experiences. Thematic analysis was used to code the transcriptions from each interview and to pinpoint nine codes that later developed into five themes. Those five themes are: (a) Experiential learning and leadership development did occur on this study abroad experience, (b) Students had personal growth while involved in the study abroad experience, (c) Cultural and global diversity impacted the student’s experiences, (d) Student’s perceptions of agriculture were enhanced through this study abroad experience, and (e) Students faced emotional challenges during the study abroad trip. Some recommendations are to have a well-designed plan for experiential learning courses, plan for varied experiences, and prepare more for emotional challenges.

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