Measuring Students’ Perceived Costs of Studying Abroad: Validating an Adapted Instrument and Confirming the Factor Structure
Keywords:instrument validation, motivation, perceived cost, study abroad
Study abroad experiences provide students opportunities to explore various cultures, ideals, and lifestyles around the world. However, those who may desire to participate have varying levels of motivation. Using the expectancy-value theory as a context, we sought to validate an adapted instrument to assess undergraduate students’ perceived cost of participating in short-term, study abroad courses or experiences (less than 14 days). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted using R-type programming to confirm the factor structures. Findings revealed 12 items loaded onto four distinct factors: emotional cost, outside effort cost, loss of valued alternatives cost, and task effort cost—explaining 84% of the variance in college students’ motivation to study abroad. Students were most motivated to study abroad based on the outside effort cost factor. Due to the rigorous psychometric properties used to validate the instrument, researchers can have confidence in including perceived costs when assessing motivation using the expectancy-value theory as a framework.