This study builds on U.S. education abroad, global citizenship and academic development literatures by assessing the extent to which embedding brief international travel experiences into residentially- taught courses enhances academic development and promotes global citizenship. Grounded in Transformative Learning Theory, the study investigated the extent to which participation in education abroad, 1.) mediates changes in students'' global citizenship, and thereby, social responsibility, global competence and global civic engagement; and, 2.) enhances academic development, specifically with regard to academic self-concept and academic self-efficacy. Statistically reliable and valid scales were developed to measure academic development and global citizenship. Additionally, the study includes a comprehensive enrollement analysis that challenges widely-held assumptions of the traditional education abroad student profile by more accurately accounting for previously underrepresented or unacknowledged populations. In particular, the study focused on the extent to which financial need and first-generation status impact education abroad choice.