While I have found no causal connection between campuses with strong internationalization policies and robust practices when it comes to linking study abroad & career service offices to advise students on their study abroad decision-making, this portal provides an important compendium of resource links for review: http://wp.me/ptu4.
On the other hand, it is more likely that campuses with strong leadership advocating for internationalization of their campus will, of necessity, support active engagement by faculty and administrators in making the case to students that international experience matters and is an integral component of their undergraduate education.
But this is not enough. The advising process, per se, needs – more often than not- to be harmonized between the two offices most often visited by students when it comes to sorting out their options for off-campus learning: career services & study abroad.
Originally posted on An International Educator in Vietnam:
Fact #1: In Vietnam, about one million students finish secondary school (i.e., junior high school) every year but public high schools can only accommodate 80% of that number.
Fact #2: An estimated 200,000 students who failed one single high school entry exam have no other choice but to enroll in private schools. For students with economic difficulties, the high cost of tuition fees is a challenge.
Fact #3: Poor students are likely to drop out of school due to high tuition fees at private schools.
Excellent thoughts on Vietnamese “brain circulation” from Mark Ashwill in Hanoi.
Originally posted on An International Educator in Vietnam:
Over the years, I’ve known and helped many young Vietnamese who have studied overseas. Some I knew in passing; others became friends. Quite a few made the decision to remain overseas either in the country in which they studied or a third country. By doing so, they slowly but surely began the transformation from Vietnamese national to Việt kiều (overseas Vietnamese).
I think of the implications of this more now that I am living in their (home) country, some in mine and others elsewhere. I have the gnawing feeling that another country’s (brain) gain is Vietnam’s loss and on glass is half empty days I can’t help feeling that Vietnam would be a better place in some ways, if some had remained.
From the blog, “Clearing Customs,”: Studying Abroad: The Who, the Why, and the Why Not.
A good summary of recent data published by IIE. Professionals know the data but I liked the presentation in a blog space I had not seen before.
Seems Mom has more sway in whether her child goes abroad than I would have thought…
I’ve just received a year-end summary of stats from wordpress. I’m pleased that GCC was viewed over 5,000 times by individuals in 87 countries in 2013!
I look forward to continuing to stimulate dialogue this year on education abroad and global workforce development.
And I wish all viewers a healthy and happy new year.
Do watch this video of a choir surprising shoppers: http://za.news.yahoo.com/watch–the-most-touching-mandela-tribute-came-from-the-least-expected-place-070947330.html
We’ve all been aware of the un and under-employment of recent college grads in Spain and Greece whose unemployment rates for people ages 15-24 is staggering at 55% and 58%. But what about the impact of the economic crisis in Europe upon the personal dreams and aspirations of college-age youth and recent graduates? This story in the NY Times paints a very bleak and sad picture: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/world/europe/youth-unemployement-in-europe.html?_r=0.
“Dozens of interviews with young people around the Continent reveal a creeping realization that the European dream their parents enjoyed is out of reach. It is not that Europe will never recover, but that the era of recession and austerity has persisted for so long that new growth, when it comes, will be enjoyed by the next generation, leaving this one out.”
The major shift in the workforce which is discussed has to do with employers moving away from hiring on a full-time basis to one where most prefer short-term contracts. This leaves little room for grads to pursue their careers within a company when the only work available pushes them into a cycle of short-term and low paying jobs without any prospect for advancement. Employers [with perhaps the exception being those based in Germany or Austria whose unemployment rates for those between 15-24 are only at 8% and 9%, respectively] cannot afford to hire full-time employees for fear of absorbing Europe’s generous labor benefit packages.
The article also illustrates the tremendous pain which grads suffer as they are forced to move away from their homes and families to seek employment in another country. Although there is much written about greater workforce “mobility” among youths in Europe, the reality of the forced migration of young and well educated talent seeking job offers – for low wages – has disrupted the lives of thousands of youths and their families. The story states that Spain has lost something like 100,000 university graduates and hundreds of thousands have moved to Germany, Britain and the Nordic states looking for work in engineering, science and medicine.
This chaos and disruption in the lives of so many young adults throughout Europe has untold consequences. Perhaps it will mean the delayed pursuit of careers and the resulting loss in wages along with a lack of skilled labor in important professional roles for many years to come.
We need to pay attention to what is happening to this current generation of students in Europe. The impact will be felt in our own society and global businesses.
As an alumnus of World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute , I was pleased to read this story in the Boston Globe: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/11/12/opening-doors-international-education/0HWb8zqtFuihyqlWupOp3K/story.html. A lot of the data the authors [senior administrators at SIT] cite will be familiar to professionals, although appearing in a mainstream media outlet, they needed to explain their point of view for a more general audience: that American students need to diversify their study abroad destinations to include more of the developing world. Something international educators have been trying to do for decades…
What I find troubling in the story is when they say, “As our students prepare for careers in our globalized economy, they need a more nuanced understanding of the world…” And “A deeper appreciation of these places [countries in the developing world] may well give students the experience and insights they will need for international and professional collaboration in the future.” Maybe.
Opening the door wider and having more undergrads walk through is a goal all international educators support. But it is not enough.
What is really needed is more money and staff on campus supporting deeper and more integrated approaches to advising students at the time they make their decision to study abroad (thus more engagement of the career office advising staff) along with purposeful methods of engaging students while they’re in-country and upon return to campus. I’ve written here about this before and in research for a forthcoming publication, I’ve identified many campuses that do just this –however, I think most campuses are understaffed to offer students the quality of advising which would realize the goals cited above my colleagues at SIT.
Adapting and making sense of a cross-cultural experience of any kind in a highly complex non-western culture is difficult and takes time; and it demands a more sophisticated effort by campuses to both prepare students for such an experience and to help them make meaning of their experience upon return to campus. Especially if one of the goals is to have students apply what they learned abroad in their job searches in order for their international experience to showcase their skills and capabilities in the workforce.
Only folks of a certain age will know that VISTA stands for: Volunteers in Service to America. Service in poor communities in the U.S., on reservations, in Appalachian towns, in rural Alaskan villages — was never as popular or sexy as service overseas. Now that we’re commemorating the 50th anniversary – which somehow seems like the wrong term to apply – of JFK’s assassination, I was thinking of the moment of choice for undergrads back in the day…
The reason I was dwelling on these two avenues for service has to do with the Open Doors stats just released showing that over 90% of U.S. undergrads never leave the U.S. at any point in their four years of study. And then I was thinking, so what. Instead of trying to push and push and innovate in all ways to increase the percentage who go abroad, why not work with the reality that most students remain in their home campus communities – and provide the means for them to develop their intercultural skills and competencies with in our borders. It’s cheaper. It’s less risky (for those families who would rather not have their children travel abroad). It’s just as important.
This quote is from the President of IIE upon release this week of their annual Open Doors report: ”Commenting on the fact that 90 percent of American undergraduates still do not study abroad, Dr. Goodman said, “We need to increase substantially the number of U.S. students who go abroad so that they too can gain the international experience which is so vital to career success and deepening mutual understanding.” Yes, but this lament occurs annually when the report from IIE is published. The movement of students to study abroad has increased at a glacial pace over the decades.
We have so many unmet needs in our nation’s poorest communities…there are innumerable opportunities for students to serve and learn at home.