The main focus of this thesis is to shed light on the motivating factors that lead American undergraduate student to study abroad, specifically short term sojourns lasting one semester. Original interviews were conducted with ten students who had recently returned from an experience of studying abroad. Two different types of students were identified: the solo sojourner and the group sojourner. Although differing in the types of programs in which they participated, the times when they decided to go abroad and the ways in which they were influenced, these two groups of students possess similarities in their motivations. These students were driven by consumption motives in that they expressed desires to seek newness in new people, place and cultures. They also possessed investment motivations and were seeking opportunities for personal growth. Language learning and professional motives were secondary or nonexistent for the majority of the participants.This paper also presents the current state of study abroad in America outlining the profile of the types of students who currently participate as well as ways to conceptualize students. The paper concludes with reflections on study abroad, proposing the types of students who go abroad and their aims. These characteristics and the participation in study abroad will most probably continue to change as access to international education widens.