Globalization and Study Abroad: An Illusion of Paradox
As we reflect upon the benefits of study abroad we should also bear in mind the special nature of such programs in settings outside the developed world. In the United States and other comparably-situated countries, the opportunity to study abroad enhances an already sound educational program. This is different from the conception of study abroad that leads developing countries to allocate scarce resources to fund foreign scholarships for their young people.
Such journeys overseas are conceived to be investments in the future, but they are not without their risks. Among the uncertainties associated with this very different orientation to “study abroad” are such issues as “brain drain” and political back-lash, which are beyond the scope of our inquiry. But we should not ignore the very different motivations that foreign students may have in choosing to study here, while we consider the benefits (and risks) of having American students participate in programs of comparatively short-term study abroad.
Richard Riley, “The Growing Importance of International Education,” comments delivered on April 19, 2000, found at http://www. ed.gov/speeches/042000/000419.html.