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The effects of an abroad holiday study programme: evidence from a randomization

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Publication type: 
Reprint Series
Silvia De Poli,
Loris Vergolini,
Nadir Zanini

This paper analyses the efficacy of an abroad study programme of English as a foreign language lasting four weeks and targeted to students enrolled in the fourth year of upper secondary school of the province of Trento. To identify the causal effect of the programme on school achievement and on a set of psychological outcomes, a field experiment was implemented. Recipients were randomly selected between students who apply for the programme. In this way, the equivalence between recipients (the treated group) and non-recipients (the control group) is ensured by construction. The data used in the analysis comes from an ad hoc survey interviewing students before and after the participation at the programme. The empirical results show that the programme had a positive and significant effect on the learning of English and on a wide set of psychological outcomes such as: the openness capability, the confidence in their abilities; the propensity for communication and the adaptability.

Field Experiment,
abroad Programme,
english Literacy,
Scuola Democratica - (3) 2014
Il Mulino
December, 2014