Sarah Bishop, a doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh, received one of the National Communication Association’s micro grants in Fall 2012 to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica. In San Jose, Bishop will work with Dr. Ana Sittenfeld, Director of the Office of International Affairs at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), to gather and analyze the reflections of graduate students who have studied abroad from Costa Rica to the United States for academic credit. Costa Rica boasts an impressive history of successful study abroad programs and strong connections to U.S. universities in particular. As the country’s oldest and largest university, UCR has spearheaded a movement to send graduate students abroad to gain international teaching experience with the belief that this opportunity makes the students better prepared and attractive candidates for teaching careers within Costa Rican universities. Bishop is interested in the ways an academic travel experience affects an individual’s sense of personal and national identity, as well as the intersection between study abroad, intercultural competence, and career preparation. This project will utilize an oral history methodology that entails conducting and recording qualitative, in-depth interviews using open-ended questions, and will work to extend Bishop’s continued efforts to navigate the ways in which international academic travel functions as a mediated, value-laden experience.