Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David I. Hanauer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.


This thesis aimed at exploring the understandings, experiences, and relationships inside the Saudi family circle that influence some of its members' study-abroad educational experiences. A case-study design was used as a methodological approach, and two Saudi families participated in this study. Within each family, a study-abroad member was also included as a participant. In both families, the decision to study abroad was influenced greatly by the father. In the first family, there was a noticeable financial support, the student felt more connected to female members, and his self-dependence grew while being abroad. The second family showed a great appreciation of the technologies used to communicate with the study-abroad member, their support depended on the position inside the family, and their level of education influenced the study-abroad member. This is a pilot study that reveals important characteristics about the Saudi family in relation to Saudi study-abroad students.