Exchanges in the media

In an opinion article for The New York Times, Molly Lister, a producer at CNN, strongly suggests students to take a gap year abroad before beginning college. Throughout her year own gap year, she ventured into Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uganda.

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China is focusing on recruiting regional inbound students from neighboring countries, like India and Pakistan, offsetting stagnating numbers of inbound students from “traditional” countries, The Pie News reports.  Meanwhile, levels of Chinese students studying abroad are on the rise following a slowdown in 2013.

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International students are enrolling in U.S. institutions at an unprecedented rate, spurred largely by increasing Chinese enrollments and scholarships awarded by Gulf States, like Saudi Arabia, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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Earlier this month, Mexico and the United Kingdom (U.K.), signed a mutual qualifications recognition agreement aimed at increasing student mobility between the two nations, the Pie News reports. The treaty will permit the use of academic qualifications, for work or study, for up to 170,000 students.

The United States’ education system has failed to prepare the public with the information necessary to “understand the world we live in today,” according to Dr. Sanford J. Unjar, the former president of Goucher College in Baltimore. In an essay published by Inside Higher Ed, he suggests that a “broader familiarity with the world is needed,” through increased efforts of global awareness in academia.

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Study abroad programs in China are seeing substantial drops in enrollment of American students, reports Reuters. Although overall study abroad numbers slightly rose throughout 2012-13, the number of U.S. students studying in China decreased 3.2 per cent, according to the Open Doors report published by the Institute of International Education (IIE). In contrast, the number of incoming Chinese international students rose 16.5 per cent in 2013-14.

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“Mobile students” (those who participated in an exchange program, worked, or studied in a placement program abroad) were found to have lower unemployment rates and earn higher quality jobs than non-mobile students, the Pie News reports.

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Five former U.S. ambassadors to Germany believe that the decision to cut funding for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program (CBYX) by 50 per cent “runs contrary to U.S. interests”:

“At a time when our two countries need to work together more closely on numerous transatlantic and global issues, slashing this successful program is the wrong decision for German-American relations.”

Minorities, specifically black and Hispanic students, are the most underrepresented groups in study abroad programs, reports USA Today. According to the Institute of international Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors report, Hispanic students represent 8 per cent of Americans abroad, while black students comprise only 5 per cent.

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Despite being a “textbook example” of soft power and “the best money we spend overseas,” the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) has experienced consistent funding cuts over the past several years, Foreign Policy reports:

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