Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

First Advisor

Zafar Iqbal

Second Advisor

Grace Lemmon

Third Advisor

Albert Muniz


University internationalization involves a complex set of initiatives that provide students and faculty with opportunities to gain global perspectives and intercultural skills which can enhance human capital. Typically, these activities are evaluated in terms of participation numbers or financial costs. But little attention is paid to understanding the intangible benefits of internationalization activities. This study aims to understand the benefits of international educational experiences and determine whether they can be considered investments from a human capital perspective. This mixed methods study involved qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey of over 400 students and faculty at a university. The results demonstrated that some methods of internationalization, such as study abroad and international or intercultural coursework, had significant and positive relationships with benefits such as engagement and institutional commitment. However, other experiences such as having interactions with individuals from different cultural backgrounds, showed significant but negative relationships with expected benefits such as engagement and professional development. This study provides empirical evidence to help university leaders in determining the best ways to invest limited resources in internationalization activities. Further research is needed to more clearly understand why some methods of internationalization are better than others in developing student and faculty, from a human capital perspective.