Spain, France and Great Britain – these are the favourite countries of young Germans who study abroad under the ERASMUS programme. More and more German students consider one or two terms at a university abroad an essential part of their CVs.
As a consequence, the number of students who spent some time at a foreign university has more than doubled over the last few years and it is estimated that about a quarter of all German students have gained some form of international experiences.And that is worth it – not only in terms of university and career success. Sojourning in a foreign country also has positive effects on the students’ personal development. That is what psychologists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) could prove in the context of the project ‘PEDES – Personality Development of Sojourners’ which is up to now the most comprehensive study about the effects of student sojourning. Dr. Julia Zimmermann and Professor Dr. Franz Neyer present their research results in the magazine ‘Journal of Personality and Social Psychology’ (DOI: 10.1037/a0033019).
The sample included both students who were planning to go abroad as well as a control group of students who stayed in Germany during that time period. All students completed three online questionnaire, the first one shortly before the beginning of the term – either abroad or in Germany –, the second and third one five and eight months later, respectively. Amongst others, the questionnaires included measures of the Big Five personality traits, i.e., Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Emotional Stability that are considered to constitute the basic dimensions of human personality.
The result: “Those students who are about to study abroad are – even before they leave – more open-minded, conscientious and extravert than their fellow students who stay at home,” says Julia Zimmermann. Moreover, the Jena psychologists assessed the personality changes the experience sojourning abroad brings about: “Those who spent some time abroad profit in their personality development, for instance in terms of growing openness and emotional stability. Their development regarding these characteristics clearly differed from the control group even when initial personality differences were taken into account,” says the psychologist, who herself studied in France with the European ERASMUS-programme during her time at university.
The researchers identified the much higher numbers of international contacts as a mechanism to explain these differences in personality development. “People who integrate successfully into a different culture may find it easier to cope with new situations and master challenges,” assumes Dr. Zimmermann. “However, it is not imperative to go abroad to gain these experiences. But those who hit the road clearly benefit from the sojourning experience,” Zimmermann resumes. According to the Jena researchers their findings suggest that the generous support of student sojourns abroad is worth to be continued in the future.
Dr. Ute Schönfelder | idw
New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19
21.07.2020 | University of California - San Diego
Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus
03.07.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences