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What Will it Take to Double Study Abroad

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What Will It Take To Double Study Abroad?

  • Join the Conversation: “What will it take to Double Study Abroad?”

    By: IIE on Friday, August 22, 2014

    The following blog entries comprise the 11 Big Ideas from the IIE Green paper, “What will it take to Double Study Abroad?” We invite you to add to the discussion by commenting on one or more of the 11 blog entries in this series.

  • Idea 1: redefine, rebrand and modernize the concept of “study abroad”

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    “Study abroad” has a strong connotation among some audiences of being fluff and fun, irrelevant to academic study and accessible only to the wealthy. The term itself does not reflect the breadth of study abroad options that have evolved over the years; it is outdated and needs to be changed to reflect the new reality of “study abroad.” In our outreach campaigns, Generation Study Abroad needs to work to rebrand “study abroad” as something that is serious preparation for living and working in today’s global economy, and can encompass internships, volunteering, and service learning abroad as well as classroom experience.

  • Idea 2: engage accrediting bodies to have them include global competencies in their rubrics

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    The theory is that if "international" is a box that institutions have to check, or a question that they have to address, as they seek accreditation, then it will naturally get the attention of senior level administrators and faculty. With this attention, curricular changes, resource allocation, and measurable international experiences—including U.S. study abroad—will follow.

  • Idea 3: reframe the problem as a K-20 issue and address it at all levels

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    In order to make study abroad an essential part of what it means to be educated, student and family expectations must be addressed at a much younger age. Teachers are key influencers who can help students understand the importance of global awareness early on, and inspire them to be curious about and engaged in the world.

  • Idea 4: use research strategically and more practically

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    There is a wide range of research available, but validity and quality of the data vary, and the research is often conducted by and for the benefit of the international education community alone. It is important to highlight the most substantive, valid data, and to look for holes in the data that can be plugged with further research. Findings should be articulated in ways that researchers, faculty, senior administrators, policy makers and business leaders can understand. There is a need to join with mainstream consumer research projects to conduct research outside of the higher education setting.

  • Idea 5: engage the foreign language learning community as an ally and partner

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Foreign language teachers, associations, organizations and other parent groups that support language learning are natural allies. Many have established networks and are strong advocates for global awareness, international experience and study abroad.

  • Idea 6: secure buy-in from the top of institutions in order to mandate change

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    In order for institutions to change, there must be both a top-down and bottom-up approach. Trustees, Boards and the Office of the President must work to convey that study abroad needs to move from the periphery to the mainstream on campuses, and they must follow through on their statements to ensure implementation throughout.

  • Idea 7: fix the broken systems on campuses that unnecessarily hinder study abroad

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Financial aid, scholarships and the process of applying for study abroad are broken at worst and convoluted at best at many campuses. These systems are not set up to “talk to each other” and the user experience, which the student encounters, is frustrating. Resources should be centralized and processes simplified for today’s digitally minded students. In addition to the problems with the systems, the “softer side” of the process is not always organized and clear, and the messages and advice surrounding study abroad are not always consistent and integrated.

  • Idea 8: provide incentives to all stakeholders who stand to gain by expanding study abroad

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Incentives for students, faculty and many private sector players can help to expand study abroad. Identifying who stands to gain and developing creative means to incentivize them could involve them at an earlier stage in the process.

  • Idea 9: develop creative partnerships with the private sector to raise funds, increase public awareness and link study abroad to careers

    By: IIE on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Rather than simply looking at the private sector for money, explore ways to involve a diverse group with the campaign. Look for ways to promote the private sector and involve it and its leadership as outspoken advocates for study abroad.

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About Opening Minds

For more than nine decades, the Institute of International Education has been at the forefront of international education. The Opening Minds blog is IIE’s take on how this field continues to change. Here the Institute’s leaders will explore international educational exchange, global student mobility, institutional partnerships, international development, and other topics and trends that are shaping higher education around the world.


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