ERIC Number: EJ935374
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May-2
Reference Count: N/A
From Fortress to Vista on the World
Halfond, Jay A.
New England Journal of Higher Education, May 2011
When it comes to creating an international campus, America's universities are far better at welcoming faculty and students from abroad--and sending students to study abroad--than in truly elevating global consciousness. Simply having foreign individuals on campus doesn't make global citizens of the rest. Exposure is hardly sufficient. Like wallflowers at a dance, there is sadly too little meaningful interchange. Barely one in eight undergraduates participates in study abroad, and, when they do, it is most often in Western Europe or Australia, and even then in an American enclave or among English-language speakers. Integration in a foreign country is rare. A semester abroad certainly can create a memorable experience and maturation, but does a few months in one country truly generate an appreciation of the wider world? Americans are largely monolingual--and now expect the educated worldwide to speak English. In fact, linguistic atrophy is more characteristic of student life than foreign language competency. Only 8% feel their abilities in a second language improved in college. The curriculum likewise doesn't present much reassurance. Americans give lip service to the importance of global consciousness, but do little to promote it. In this article, the author offers a few suggestions and observations to redress this.
Descriptors: Second Languages, Foreign Countries, English, Study Abroad, Higher Education, Undergraduate Students, Foreign Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Europe