As the European Union copes with a continuing financial crisis and growing pessimism over European integration, the Erasmus Programme has proven surprisingly resilient. Since its inception, it has expanded to more than 4000 participating education institutions in 33 countries offering mobility opportunities for more than 4 million people. Xavier Prats Monné, director-general for Health and for Food Safety of the European Commission, previously served as director general for Education and Culture of the European Commission, where he was responsible for EU policies in the field of education and for the EU education programs for the 2014–2020 period, including Erasmus+ and Marie Sklodowska Curie.
International experience used to be a “nice-to-have” criterion in a graduate’s resume. Today, it has become one of the most important components of a 21st century education. Many new studies show a direct impact of study abroad on creativity, cognitive ability, and student success. In addition, studies show that study abroad plays an important role in developing a global mindset and skills necessary to succeed in the workforce. Below are studies showing the value employers place on international experience and whether a graduate’s career prospects actually improve as a result of this experience.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) recently hosted a special meeting on “Alumni Engagement: Methods and Strategies for Engaging Returning Students,” as part of its regular series of Global Education Diplomatic Network meetings, which brings together education attaches of embassies and consulates and related organizations.
K-12 teachers and administrators can have a huge impact on the direction of their students’ lives. I can trace my own personal interest in the global world back to my elementary school principal who championed an exchange program between our school district and a school district in France. Thanks to him, I was introduced to the French language and culture at a young age, and that introduction sparked a fascination with other countries that has lasted in me to this day.
Roughly 15 months after IIE launched the Generation Study Abroad® initiative, it’s time to take stock. Are we making progress? Can we achieve our goal of doubling study abroad by the end of the decade? We have built an impressive coalition of educators, parents, students, alumni, and funders who are pledging specific, actionable goals and tangible financial commitments that will contribute significantly to reach our ambitious goal.
With all the recent talk about the decrease in foreign language enrollment in the United States, I thought it would be worthwhile to look at some concrete examples of real career paths that began in a language classroom. These examples are all taken from profiles done of Boren Awards alumni who applied to and received funding based in no small part on their dedication to language study, among other things. These students show how a dedication to linguistic and cultural learning can help lead to meaningful work on some of the most important global concerns of our time.
A recent discussion on student mobility and the higher education landscape from a Russian higher education practitioner’s perspective had my research wheels turning. Meeting with the 2014 Fulbright Russian International Education Administrators (RIEA) Program cohort was an educational experience for me: specifically it taught me that mobility data doesn’t always tell us the full story, and that one has to always speak to colleagues in the field to fully understand the context of student mobility.
In the five plus years I have worked at IIE, the term “workforce development” has become a more stable part of international higher education lingo. Although the concept of workforce development has been around for a long time, it has recently gained prominence in the field based on several factors in the ever-evolving state of the global economy. Here is what I have learned about the impact of international education on global workforce development.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Studying abroad was never something I planned on doing. I knew such a thing existed, but to me it existed in a realm of things I didn’t perceive as meant for me. I was a first generation college student and even attending college didn’t seem like something someone like me would do; it was for other kids. I nearly dropped out several times. After two years of near-daily encouragement from my favorite professor, I finally began to consider study abroad as something meant for me, too.
While most academics know the Institute through some aspect of the Fulbright Program, my introduction was due primarily to its work on behalf of the United States Information Agency (USIA) International Visitor Program, which has since been renamed the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and is now managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For some wonderful reason, it was my telephone number at Georgetown that someone from IIE would call when a visitor was seeking to meet with someone at the University or interested in learning more about its School of Foreign Service.