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Why study abroad?

In today’s global world, which places a premium on international literacy, students who are not exposed to the world and to other cultures will be left behind.

-Victor C. Johnson, Associate Executive Director of Public Policy, NAFSA

There is a lot to learn in Kent, Ohio, but if you want to take yourself and your career to the next level, you need to hit the road once in a while because life abroad is transforming in just about every way.

Career Advancement

International education ignites a passion for understanding other people and their perspectives, [which is] essential to success in our increasingly diverse world. Students with international exposure come to understand the value of dialogue between people from different cultures and between people with different points of view. They also gain an understanding of the importance of relationships, ... the foundation for meaning and success in life.

For almost three decades of my career at The Coca‐Cola Company, I lived and worked in Asia. From Singapore to Tokyo to Beijing, I learned about different local cultures by living and working in those cultures. It gave me a profound respect for how people are different, and also for how we are the same.

Those experiences shaped my career in a powerful way ‐ by shaping an appreciation for the cultural and intellectual diversity in our world. I'm fortunate today to have the opportunity to lead a company that is one of the most internationally diverse organizations on earth. We operate in nearly 200 countries, do business in some 125 languages, and employ people from over 215 different nationalities. Respecting and understanding the fundamental value of diversity is vital to who we are and the way we do business. Understanding and valuing different cultures has shaped my ability to lead our business, and it's an absolute imperative for anyone who works at The Coca‐Cola Company.

-Douglass H. Daft, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca Cola Company

Personal Growth

As important as academics were in view of my overall experience, I would say that the exposure I had to people of different cultures and ages and the increasing growth and maturity – both mental and intellectual – that resulted was an even more vital part of my overseas education. ... Each conversation with these people opened my mind a little more to a world larger and more complete than what I had known before my time abroad, and each conversation challenged my views – forced me to assess and re‐evaluate the views I held.

-Miriam Mossbarger, International Relations student, USC

The sense of independence I felt abroad boosted my self‐confidence tremendously. I wasn’t failing or floundering, rather I was living, studying, traveling and exploring safely and successfully all on my own. I was actually thriving in another country, in another culture, and in another language. Obviously, studying abroad was a huge step ‐ and change ‐ for me because I was pretty sheltered growing up. The world outside of the U.S. was new to me and very exciting; I felt like a modern‐day explorer or adventurer setting out to really live life and literally see the world.

-Katherine C. FitzSimons, Spanish, Journalism student, USC

Global Awareness

No one who studies abroad remains unchanged by the experience. Part of the change that occurs is the widening of a person's intellectual horizons and a dissolving of borders and boundaries. As the late Senator J. William Fulbright put it, “nations are transformed into people.”

-Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO, Institute of International Education

Globalization is obliterating the distinction between foreign and domestic concerns. Most domestic problems in today’s world are also international. ... If American students are to be able to function effectively in the world into which they will graduate, it must become the routine, not the exception, for them to study abroad.... To be an educated citizen today is to be able to see the world through others’ eyes and to understand the international dimensions of the problems we confront as a nation, skills that are enhanced by international experience.

-Alliance for International Education and Cultural Exchange

Quotations from: The Center for Global Education

http://www.globaled.us/now/whystudyabroadintro.html

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