Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Study Abroad Decreases in Popularity for First Time in 25 Years

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?


Anonymous said...

The tone of this post misses the point completely. American interest in study abroad remains massive. That's why it's news that it has been rising every year for the last 25 years.

Anonymous said...

Blog posts by freshmen bloggers like this are embarrassing: please do a little research other than paraphrasing other news coverage. To wit: Princeton's financial aid goes with you when you study abroad. For me, a student on financial aid, it was slightly cheaper for my family during my semester abroad. So yes, I "truly believe that the university provides enough aid for study abroad." Many (if not most) national trends in higher education, and certainly including this one, do not apply to Princeton.