Publication Date

Spring 5-16-2018

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


Universities across the nation are seeing an increase in student veterans who are taking advantage of the educational benefits offered for life after the military. These students are non-traditional and come from diverse backgrounds bringing in a unique perspective to higher education institutions (Howard and Brode, 2013). Since 2009, there have been more than 1.7 million Post-9/11 GI Bill users (Department of Veteran Affairs, 2017). This educational benefit has been instrumental in helping veterans and their dependents go to school and obtain a two or four-year degree but there is a 36-month limit to this educational benefit which reduces the time students have to explore new interests or discover new passions (Taylor, Parks, & Edwards, 2016). One sacrifice student veterans might have to make is the ability to study abroad due to barriers such as cost and time. This research sought to understand how I could develop a study abroad program for student veterans who are utilizing their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. This study is grounded in action research and aims to explore how studying abroad is impactful for a student veteran’s collegiate experience and how studying abroad is different than serving abroad in a different country. Findings from this research will aid in creating a study abroad program for the School of Leadership and Educational Sciences at the University of San Diego for student veterans.