Exchanges in the media

Study abroad does not necessarily delay the time of graduation, new studies cited by Inside Higher Ed show. While international educators have traditionally tried to quantify the impact of study abroad on international learning outcomes such as “global-mindedness” or foreign language acquisition, they now focus increasingly on the link between study abroad experience, retention, and graduation rates.

As the U.S. is increasingly internationalizing its campuses, more needs to be done to “capture the educational moments in international education,” such as integrating international students on U.S. campuses and encouraging American students to study abroad in less traditional destinations, World Learning President and CEO Adam Weinberg suggests in a recent Huffington Post blog post.

Today’s generation of young adults in their 20s and early 30s is more likely than previous generations to spend time abroad and is “abandoning some of the traditional tenets of the American dream that their parents held dear” to pursue an American dream that goes “beyond U.S. borders,” according to a recent NPR report.

Many international students struggle to form friendships with Americans while studying in the U.S., a new survey cited in the Chronicle of Higher Education found.

Studying abroad provides graduate students with “worlds of marketable skills,” according to a recent article published in the Washington Post’s ExpressNightOut.

The article argues that while “studying abroad can be a transformative experience for any student, … it can have more of an impact on grad students, who are more focused academically.”

Foreign language education, study abroad, and the recruitment of international students to U.S. campuses are strategies vital to the promotion of U.S. national security and economic competitiveness, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates noted last week at the 2012 NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference in Houston, TX.

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The Obama Administration’s strong rhetoric in support of international education and exchange does not always match with reality, and is described by some to be “superficial,” according to an article in yesterday’s Chronicle of Higher Education:

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The Department of State issued a new guidance directive this afternoon (available here; direct to PDF here), clarifying the visa status of Chinese teachers at campus-based Confucius Institutes. Specifically, the directive states that Chinese language teachers “sponsored by university or college sponsors who are teaching at primary or secondary schools are not required to depart the United States at the end of this academic year, unless that was their intended date of departure.”

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Wang Yongli, deputy chief executive of the Office of Chinese Language Council International, said he was “taken by surprise and quite shocked” by the release last week of a State Department directive that would require all Chinese-language schoolteachers affiliated with campus-based Confucius Institutes and holding J-1 visas to leave the country within weeks, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

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A State Department policy directive issued last week (and reported on yesterday by the Alliance) asserted that campus-based Confucius Institutes must be part of the sponsoring college’s foreign-language program or apply for separate accreditation. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports today that the Department of State has called that section of the directive “confusing” and said it would be “redrafted to clarify that Confucius Institutes that have partnerships with accredited colleges are in compliance with visa regulations.”

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