Intense Customer Satisfaction while Studying Abroad: Study Abroad as a Transcendent Customer Experience
In a hermeneutical analysis of 11 in-depth interviews with past study abroad participants and 65 photographs shared by these participants, we affirm the findings of Wright and Larsen (2012 and 2016) that study abroad is an ‘extraordinary experience.” We also discover five additional emergent themes: sight versus blindness, words versus actual experiences, emotional intensity, extreme enjoyment and personal growth and awakening. We then interpret these five new themes as Transcendent Customer Experiences, following Schouten et al. (2007), to explain the high levels of satisfaction and delight produced in participants of study abroad programs. The paper concludes with a discussion of the similarities and differences between TCEs and extraordinary experiences.
Albers-Miller, Nancy D., Prenshaw, Pennelope J. and Robert D. Straughan (1999), “Student Perceptions of Study Abroad Programs: A Survey of US College and Universities,” Marketing Education Review, 9(1), 29-36.
Arnold, Stephen J. and Eileen Fischer (1994), “Hermeneutics and Consumer Research,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 21 (June), 55-70.
Arnould, Eric J. and Craig J. Thompson (2005), “Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research,” Journal of Consumer Research Vol. 31 (4), 868-882.
Arnould, Eric J. and Linda L. Price (1993), “River Magic: Extraordinary Experience and the Extended Service Encounter,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 20 (June), 24-45.
Belk, Russell W., Melanie Wallendorf and John F. Sherry, Jr. (1989), “The Sacred and the Profane in Consumer Behavior: Theodicy on the Odyssey,” Journal of Consumer Research, 16 (1), 1-38.
Bonsu, Samuel K. and Russell W. Belk (2003), “Do Not Go Cheaply into That Good Night: Death-Ritual Consumption in Asante, Ghana,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 30 (June), 41-55.
Carsello, C. and Greaser J. (1976), “How College Students Change During Study Abroad,” College Student Journal, 10, 276-278.
Clarke, Irvine III, Theresa B. Flaherty, Newell D. Wright, and Robert M. McMillan (2009), “Student Intercultural Proficiency from Study Abroad programs,” Journal of Marketing Education, Vol. 31 No. 2 (August), 173-181.
Dolby, Nadine (2007), “Reflections on Nation: American Undergraduates and Education Abroad,” Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(2), 141-56.
Duke, Charles R. (2000), “Study Abroad Learning Activities: A Synthesis and Comparison,” Journal of Marketing Education, 22(2), 155-165.
Erffmeyer, Robert C. and Jamal A. Al-Khatib (1997), “Students’ Study Abroad Experience: Gaijin in Japan,” Marketing Education Review, Vol. 7 No. 1, 63-69.
Festervand, Troy A., and Kenneth R. Tillery (2001), “Short-Term Study-Abroad Programs—A Professional Development Tool for International Business Faculty,” Journal of Education for Business, 77, 2 (November–December), 106–111.
Fry, Gerald W. (2009), “The Long Term Impact of Study Abroad on Global Engagement.” Presentation given at the University of Wisconson-Madison on September 30, 2009. Accessed online at http://www.cehd.umn.edu/projects/sage/SAGEPresentationU-WisconsinMadison.pdf/.
Henthorne, Tony L., Mark M. Miller, and Tim W. Hudson (2001), “Building and Positioning Successful Study-Abroad Programs: A ‘Hands-On’ Approach,” Journal of Teaching in International Business, 12 (4), 49–62.
Heisley, Deborah D. and Sidney J. Levy (1991), “Autodriving: A Photoelicitation Technique,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 19 (December), 257-272.
Hill, Donna J. and Rajesh Iyer (2010). “The Moderating Effect of Coping on Student Satisfaction with a Short Study Abroad Program.” Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education, 17(Winter), 97-103.
Hudson, Laurel Anderson and Julie L. Ozanne (1988), “Alternate Ways of Seeking Knowledge in Consumer Research,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 14 (March), 508-521.
Hummer, Justin F., Eric R. Pedersen, Tehniat Mirza and Joseph W. LaBrie (2010), “Factors associated with General and Sexual Alcohol-Related Consequences: An Examination of College Students while Studying Abroad,” Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 47 (4), 427-444.
Johnson, Denise M. and Deanna D. Mader (1992), “Internationalizing Your Marketing Course: The Foreign Study Tour Alternative,” Journal of Marketing Education, 14(2), 27-33.
Koernig, Stephen K. (2007), “Planning, Organizing, and Conducting a 2-Week Study Abroad Trip for Undergraduate Students: Guidelines for First-Time Faculty,” Journal of Marketing Education, 29 (3), 210–217.
Lee, James A. (1966), “Cultural Analysis in Overseas Operations,” Harvard Business Review, 44 (3), 106-114).
McCracken, Grant (1988), The Long Interview. Sage: Newbury Park, CA.
Morris, Catherine (2017), “Open Doors 2017 Executive Summary.” Located online at: https://www.iie.org/Why-IIE/Announcements/2017/11/2017-11-13-Open-Doors-2017-Executive-Summary. Accessed 5 October, 2018.
Oliver, Richard, Roland T. Rust, and Sajeev Varki (1997), “Customer Delight: Foundations, Findings, and managerial Insight,” Journal of Retailing, 73 (3), 311-336.
Paul, Pallab and Kausiki Mukhopadhyay (2003), “The Impact of International Travel Component of the Executive MBA Curriculum on Participant Learning,” Marketing Education Review, 13(3), 1-16.
Pedersen, Eric R., Joseph W. LaBrie, and Justin F. Hummer (2009), “Perceived Behavioral Alcohol Norms Predict Drinking for College Students While Studying Abroad,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, November, 924-928.
Pedersen, Eric R., Joseph W. Labrie, Justin F. Hummer, Mary E. Larimer and Christine M. Lee (2010), “Heavier Drinking American College Students May Self-Select into Study Abroad Programs: An Examination of Sex and Ethnic Differences Within a High-Risk Group,” Addictive Behaviors, Volume 35, 844-847.
Pedersen, Eric. R, Mary E. Larimer, and Christine M. Lee (2010), “When in Rome: Factors Associated with Changes in Drinking Behavior Among American College Students Studying Abroad,” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Volume 24 (3), 535-540.
Peñaloza, Lisa (2001), “Consuming the American West: Animating Cultural Meaning and Memory at a Stock Show and Rodeo,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 28 (December), 369-398.
Rapaille, Clotaire (2006), The Culture Code, Broadway Books: New York.
Rose, Randall L. and Stacy L. Wood (2005), “Paradox and the Consumption of Authenticity through Reality Television,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 32 (September), 284-296.
Sell, Deborah Kay (1983), “Research on Attitude Change in U.S. Students Who Participate in Foreign Study Experiences: Past Findings and Suggestions for Future Research,” International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 7, 131-147.
Schouten, John W., James H. McAlexander, and Harold F. Koenig (2007), “Transcendent Customer Experience and Brand Community,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences, 35, 357-368.
Schuster, Camille P., Robert O. Zimmerman, Clinton B. Schertzer, and Paul W. Beamish (1998), “Assessing the Impact of Executive MBA International Travel Courses,” Journal of Marketing Education, Vol. 20 No. 2 (August), 121-132.
Spiggle, Susan (1994), “Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data in Consumer Research,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 21 (December), 491-503.
Sutton, Richard C. and Donald L. Rubin (2010), “Documenting the Academic Impact of Study Abroad: Final Report of the GLOSSARI Project.” NAFSA Annual Conference Presentation, Kansas City, MO, 4 June, 2010. Accessed online at http://glossari.uga.edu/datasets/pdfs/FINAL.pdf.
Thompson, Craig J. (1997), “Interpreting Consumers: A hermeneutical Framework for Deriving Marketing Insights from the Texts of Consumers’ Consumption Stories,” Journal of Marketing Research, November, 438-455.
Toncar, Mark F. and Brian V. Cudmore (2000), “The Overseas Internship Experience,” Journal of Marketing Education, Vol. 22 No. 1 (April) 54-63.
Tumbat, Gülnur and Russell W. Belk (2011), “Marketplace Tensions in Extraordinary Experiences,” Journal of Consumer Research, 38 (June), 42-61.
Turner, Victor (1974), “Social Dramas and Ritual Metaphors,” ion Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, Victor Turner, Ed.., Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 23-59.
Vargo, Stephen L., and Robert F. Lusch (2004), “Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing,” Journal of Marketing, 68 (January), 1–17.
Wright, Newell D. and Irvine Clarke III (2010), “Preparing Marketing Students for a Global and Multicultural Work Environment: The Value of a Semester-Long Study Abroad Program,” Marketing Education Review, 20 (2), 149-161.
Wright, Newell D. and Val Larsen (2012), “Every Brick Tells a Story: Study Abroad as an Extraordinary Experience,” Marketing Education Review, Vol. 22, no. 2, 121-142.
Wright, Newell D. and Val Larsen (2016), “Vacation to Beerland: The Role of Alcohol in the Study Abroad Experience,” Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, Vol. 20 No. 3, 73-88.
Each volume is copyrighted by Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior. We encourage authors to submit published articles to research aggregators such as researchgate.net or academia.edu. You may use the PDF files from the published journal for submission to these aggregators.