By Morgan Jerkins '14
Upon arriving at Princeton, you may feel overwhelmed by all the opportunities and resources offered. Among these are a plethora of study and intern abroad options, from semesters at Oxford to internships with the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Judging from the “Student Voices” link on the Office of International Programs (OIP) website, the programs are highly reputed. Unfortunately for the rest of America, however, the interest is non-existent.The Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange reported that the number of American students studying abroad has declined for the first time in 25 years.
The poor economy was cited as the reason for the drastic drop, yet the report said that those who acquire experience in global competition flourish even in a floundering job market. Multinational companies seek graduates with international experience. Whether the experience lasted for three months or a year, the cultural and intellectual growth is extremely valuable. In fact, studies have also shown that “budding internationalists have an improved academic performance, higher graduation rates, and improved cultural practices and context compared to students in control groups.”
Stacie Nevadomski Berdan of the Huffington Post advocates for colleges and universities across the nation to provide financial assistance to students interested in programs overseas. Even though Princeton has an endowment worth billions, I ask you: Do you truly believe that the university provides enough aid for study abroad?