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Abstract

This qualitative study investigated in what ways tertiary-level English foreign language (EFL) learners believed that they had changed following their study abroad. The participants were 12 Austrian EFL learners who had been exchange students in the UK or US. I conducted a cross-sectional study, grouping participants according to the duration of their stay abroad, as well as the period of time since they had returned to their home country. Comparisions were drawn between students who spent one semester, and those who spent two. I also investigated the differences displayed depending on how long a student has been back in their native country; Group A (1-6 months), Group B (1 year), and Group C (2 years). The interviewees prepared a mind-map or short narrative, which was used as a prompt during the interviews. The findings revealed personal, social, cultural, and linguistic effects.

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