Study Abroad

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa thus far has had only a modest effect on research and international education programs, Inside Higher Ed recently reported. The article notes that those countries affected by the virus “are not popular destinations for research or study abroad programs” and that “few students from the region enroll at American colleges and universities.”

In light of the ongoing crisis in Gaza and Israel, and the State Department’s updated travel warning advising U.S. citizens to “’consider’ deferring non-essential travel” to Israel, U.S. colleges are debating whether or not to evacuate their students in the region, Inside Higher Ed reports.

As studying abroad increases in popularity and importance, U.S. colleges are trying to find ways to provide access to an international experience for those students who may face social, financial, or cultural barriers, U.S. News and World Report writes.

Safety concerns, such as the threat of crime and drug violence, are deterring American students from studying in Mexico, prompting them to choose Costa Rica, Argentina, and Brazil as their study destinations in Latin America instead, the Washington Post reports.

A growing body of research indicates that study and work abroad experiences foster an “ability to think more complexly and creatively,” which can lead to more success as a professional, Time magazine reports. Time points to three different studies on the subject:

The optional practical training program (OPT), which allows international graduates in the United States on student visas to gain work experience related to their fields of study, lacks sufficient risk assessment and governmental oversight, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) launched earlier this week Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative aiming to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad. 

At the launch of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Partnership last week, Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of, and the Obama Administration’s commitment to, connecting young people worldwide.

A recent proposal by the British Department of Health to introduce a health care access fee for migrants and long-term visitors would require international students to, for the first time, pay for medical cover while studying in the UK, the New York Times reports.

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At the Closing Session of the 2013 U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong reaffirmed their countries’ deep belief in the power of exchanges and commitment to enhance and expand cultural and educational exchange opportunities between the two nations.

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