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Higher Education in a Global Society [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

December 17, 2008

By Graham Spanier for The Chronicle of Higher Education

The humorist Dave Barry once observed, “Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.”

Here’s another take on travel abroad…

“Consider the fact that the largest city I’ve ever lived in is State College, Pennsylvania (at a mere 44,000 people). The transition from life in a small, rural college town to an emerging urban super city that is experiencing growth so fast it threatens to tear the city apart has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life.” – Penn State student on his experience in Bangalore, India

And here’s another student after the bombings in Bangalore…

“It’s not every day that you hear about bombs going off in your city, and it’s not every day that you hear about bombs going off across your country, but it’s something I’ve lived through here this weekend and it’s been a unique experience.”

These comments reflect the benefit and risk of travel abroad for students and their universities. But there is little doubt that international experiences have enormous value to students and to society at large. Our nation’s security and economic competitiveness will be enhanced if our citizens have a broad global understanding.

But how do we advance the concept of a global education today? [Click here to read the full article. Subscription only.]

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