Edited by D. Bruce Johnstone, Madeleine B. d’Ambrosio and Paul J. Yakoboski
6. Creating successful study abroad experiences M. Peter McPherson and Margaret Heisel Study abroad growth among U.S. college and university students has surged in the last decade, increasing by a remarkable 150 percent. Scholars have always valued the combination of international travel and study, providing as it does the opportunity not only to gain a new perspective on an academic interest or learn a different approach to a discipline, but also to experience the energy and excitement that immersion in a radically different environment can supply. The increases we are seeing in study abroad recently, however, have also been fueled by changes that are fundamentally altering relations among countries – changes that are redefining what students need to know for careers and civic life in the 21st century. Technology, communications, access to travel, and, most importantly, the globalized economy have altered how students and educators see international study. The information revolution, the global economy and capital market, environmental concerns, and global health and safety have dramatically increased students’ need for direct experience abroad. For the future, it is clear that resources – both the opportunities and the problems associated with resources – will be shared across national borders. And with this shift comes a greatly increased need for cooperation and coordination and for international experience as a fundamental part of higher education. The business community as well as educators now recognize the need for international study as an element of higher education programs, not only for the exposure to a foreign culture, but...
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