• November 28, 2014

7 Signs of Successful Study-Abroad Programs

7 Signs of Successful Study-Abroad Programs 1

James Yang for The Chronicle

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close 7 Signs of Successful Study-Abroad Programs 1

James Yang for The Chronicle

Interest in study-abroad programs has never been higher among American college students. In 2008 the American Council on Education and the College Board published a report documenting that a large proportion of students plan to study abroad and want their institutions to offer a wide range of international education opportunities.

So why do as few as 1.5 percent of college students travel overseas to study every year?

The answer involves a series of obstacles that prevent enthusiastic students from seeking the opportunities they desire. As the report states, "barriers to student participation are real, including security concerns, high cost, academic demands that accommodate neither study abroad nor other international-learning experiences, and lack of encouragement by faculty and advisers." Also, many colleges do not foster the international-learning experience. They may talk the talk but don't walk the walk; they construct many of the barriers that hamper students.

It's just a matter of time before those institutions find themselves at a huge disadvantage when recruiting undergraduates. A global college education is increasingly becoming a crucial part of being competitive in today's job market, and students are demanding it more and more. They are talking and blogging about "unfriendly" study-abroad practices and where to stay clear.

So what is a successful study-abroad program? What does a "study-abroad-friendly" university look like?

Here are my seven signs:

Support from both the administration and the faculty. If the administration supports international education, but there is no buy-in from faculty members, will students study abroad? The answer is yes, but not many. If faculty members support international education, but there is little or no administrative buy-in, will students study abroad? Probably, through a "decentralized" approach, or where there are many barriers, an "exit" approach. Many land-grant institutions, like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and other universities, like the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, adopted the decentralized approach, whereby faculty members pioneered and paved the way for international-learning experiences long before the administration stepped up to support them. The exit approach is the most extreme: Students completely withdraw from the university in order to study abroad.

All in all, things tend to work out better when both administrators and faculty members are on the same page. Administrators have the power of finance, while professors have the power of influence. Where the two converge, there are bona fide results. In an ideal university, professors are globally minded, appreciate international experiences, and have opportunities to engage in the international-education process. Administrators are supportive through both actions and words.

Variety of program options. Nothing frustrates me more than colleges that don't allow their students to participate in study-abroad programs that are not their own, or make it very difficult for them to do so. They may restrict financial aid, withhold course equivalencies, and/or deny valuable academic credit. Colleges that encourage study abroad offer a portfolio of programs, supported by the academic departments, to meet students' needs. They also provide a degree of flexibility that allows students to individualize their potential experiences.

Preparation for risk. Colleges with long-term successful study-abroad operations prepare for the inevitable. They develop study-abroad programs carefully and have thorough application processes that involve judicial affairs, health services, disability services, the counseling center, and other key offices on campus. They also have appropriate health insurance, contingency plans, crisis-management protocols, policies, procedures, training, and orientations designed to promote health and safety throughout the international experience. They encourage teamwork and use the campus as a support network. Some successful universities, like Michigan State University, have even named an administrator to oversee the health, safety, and security of travelers.

Fair value, a fair price. Study-abroad-friendly universities are not always cheap and they're not always nonprofit, but they are usually open about their financial model and net gains. I read on a student's blog this year that an American college is going to charge $30,000 tuition to award credit for a $5,000 partner program run by another university. That college should be clearer and more open about its budget. Otherwise, it looks like a 600-percent markup to put its name behind some courses, which they neither develop nor teach.

Eastern Illinois University collaborates with higher-education institutions around the world to maintain quality study-abroad programs for students. We negotiate discounts for students and price programs at cost. While abroad, our students often encounter other students paying three or four times as much for the same academic experience.

Every department has options. Each college needs to connect international-learning experiences to academic needs. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, for example, has developed its well-known "study-abroad major advising sheets" to do that. Those sheets help students, academic advisers, professors, and study-abroad professionals match overseas programs with academic programs. They are built from study-abroad course articulations and shift the focus of study abroad from an "extracurricular" activity to a "scholastic" one. And the sheets do more than engage various people in a discussion; they help the college identify programming gaps in academic areas that lack study-abroad opportunities.

Students earn valuable credit. There is no standard for study-abroad credit. An American college may accept academic credit from language schools or institutes overseas based on its own criteria. Successful operations recognize and accommodate the "study" in study abroad. They put mechanisms into place that encourage students to take their courses seriously. Approved courses abroad replace major, minor, and general education requirements in their undergraduate-degree program or fulfill course work or practicum experiences at the graduate level.

A commitment to go green. Middlebury College awards "sustainable study-abroad grants" to assist students with research and projects related to environmentally friendly practices. It also has a Going Green guide, a Green Passport program, a carbon-offset program, and a comprehensive list of sustainable travel resources. We in higher education can't possibly be promoting global citizenship if we are inconsiderate of how international travel affects the environment. Wise colleges have an awareness, understanding, and concern about the global impact international visitors are having in communities around the world. They do their part in educating students and helping them reduce their possibly harmful footprint.

 

 Wendy Williamson is director of study abroad at Eastern Illinois University, author of Study Abroad 101 (Agapy, 2004) and co-founder of facultyled.com and AbroadScout.

Comments

1. honore - July 25, 2010 at 09:42 am

You write...

"So why do as few as 1.5 percent of college students travel overseas to study every year?"

The dead elephant in the middle of the room tells us...
"most students do not have the financial resources to study abroad and H/E is still deaf to the minor reality"

How about if you write an article on how/where/when students can secure the $$$$ needed to do these programs cost.

2. travelfan1 - July 25, 2010 at 09:02 pm

Honore: How about you chill out and wait for someone to write on that topic? The topic covered in this article has a different focus and is equally as important. It would take a whole other article to cover what you are looking for. You don't YOU write on it? Just a thought.

3. honore - July 26, 2010 at 08:14 am

travelfan, That is a great idea!!! I would love to write about the sad state of financial support for students to study abroad. Unfortunately, you should have noticed by now that the Chronicle of Hallmark Education doesn't publish too many articles that scratch at the scabs of contemporary H/E. It prefers fluffy, smiley-faced politically-correct pieces written by its less-than-insightful cadre of "writers" who are very adept at face licking and tail wagging. But who knows, they might contact me today. That is after they delete this post.

4. lisaannbrown - July 26, 2010 at 08:56 am

@Honore

I'm sorry, but did you even read the article? The author clearly addresses financial barriers, such as the unfortunately common practice of higher education institutions charging their own inflated tuition for programs that would be drastically cheaper if students entered on their own and holding the transferring credits hostage. This is a practice that is not often talked about, and if it were raised, would undoubtedly ruffle the feathers of more than a few administrators. I'd hardly call that face licking.

EVERYONE has heard ad nauseum that students need more financial aid to study abroad. It's not news. I predict, however, that this underlying structural price-gouging will be eye-opening for those who are not involved in the field of study abroad. That being said, perhaps if you had an original point to make, the Chronicle WOULD ask you to write an article.

5. ucmarg - July 26, 2010 at 09:17 am

One caveat. The 1.5 figure is misleading, in that it compares the number of students studying abroad with the entire postsecondary population in the U.S. A cohort comparison would be a more realistic measure. Also, many large institutions do not count all their students who study abroad, so again reported figures are misleading.

Having more accurate counts would be a big step forward.

6. honore - July 26, 2010 at 09:23 am

Lisaann, "addressing" financial barriers makes for precious rhetoric. Citing REAL $olutionS makes for more insightful, responsive journalism. Just wonderin' when we'll actually get real.

7. lisaannbrown - July 26, 2010 at 09:38 am

Right... so the "real" solution would be, "Don't price-gouge any more." There's only so much "financial aid" you can throw at a problem. A $10,000 scholarship is almost moot when it comes to institutions who charge $30,000 for a $5,000 program!

To stop an unethical practice, we first have to make people aware of it. There's no way to solve this problem on most university campuses besides bringing it through the upper echelons of administration. This article is clearly written with the audience of upper administration and study abroad professionals, who need to be aware that this practice is unethical. I don't understand your logic. Addressing the problem is a necessary first step in finding these "real" solutions you are so vague about.

8. llanero - July 26, 2010 at 10:04 am

@honore
So she didn't write the article that you wanted to read, what about the one she wrote?

9. studyabroadguru - July 26, 2010 at 10:49 am

@Honore - I will write an article about what you suggest. Keep an eye out for it, and then we can discuss.

10. studyabroadguru - July 26, 2010 at 10:52 am

@ucmarg - Well, you're right... but we can only work with what we have to work with, and the more exact numbering just isn't there.

11. ltryhorn - July 26, 2010 at 10:57 am

Many institutions will have fee-waver agreements with international universities for exchange students. This means that they can easily swap students back and forth. For example, a student in the US may pay $30,000 a year, but a student in an Australian university may only pay $5000 (or less) a year because the universities are government run and subsidized. It would be a huge barrier for exchange programs if students were suddenly required pay the fees for the partner universities. I don't see this system as being unfair, it is just part of engaging with different parts of the world.

I did two semester-long study abroad programs in my undergrad degree at an Australian university (one in the US and one in Japan). Both times, I paid my regular fees in Australia, not to the overseas universities and my university hosted students from the countries that I visited. Those students paid their normal university fees, which were substaintially more than mine. In the end, my degree is from an Australian university, not the overseas universities that I attended.

12. lisaannbrown - July 26, 2010 at 11:22 am

@ltryhorn

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're referring to exchange agreements, right? Exchange agreements are a little bit more complex, and I absolutely agree with you that students who live in the region have the right to benefit from their own government subsidies which they and their parents have paid taxes to support.

What I'm referring to are direct enroll agreements, which are "one-way" in nature. As a made-up example, if I decided as an independent student to attend X University in Ecuador, I would have to pay the non-citizen rate of $7,000 for one semester. (Citizens of Ecuador pay substantially less.) If I were a student at Y College in the U.S. and wanted those credits to transfer to Y College, however, I would have to pay their tuition rate of $30,000, or my coursework wouldn't transfer. If I do pay that inflated rate, I can get the credit to transfer.

This is unethical because credit transfer should be based on the quality of the coursework taken, not extra money paid to the university. It's basically paying for your credits to transfer. This is what I have a problem with, not exchange agreements. I agree with you--exchange is a different animal.

13. melibeeglobal - July 26, 2010 at 01:00 pm

Greetings. I believe that the "price gouging" is an issue for many schools. Some will attempt to justify it by saying that the student will continue to receive full financial aid under the regular tuition package using this approach or that any financial gain will be put toward scholarships for study abroad. (I am not referring to exchange programs in this case.) Regarding the "approved list" reference, the Attorney Generals Offices in NY and CT were book looking into issues related to paid "site visits" in study abroad, as these programs often end up on the "approved" list at universities which raises a lot of eyebrows. I write a blog on int'l education and recently had a post about sustainability in int'l education - if interested, here is the link. Interestingly, my guest blogger states that carbon offsets are not the obvious solution: http://melibeeglobal.com/2010/07/sustainability-in-international-education-interview-with-michael-despines/
Missy Gluckmann, Melibee Global

14. 11336803 - July 26, 2010 at 01:22 pm

The second point says to be successful an institution needs a variety of program options. In "studyabroadspeak" this means program providers who offer "options" at prices well above the cost of a public institution such Eastern Illinois (or other regional institutions). Direct exchanges, bilateral arrangements, and other kinds of institutionally based arrangements are usually more cost effective for the institution and the student. But in order to do this, the university must focus its resources on a narrower list of program options. Only to come in for criticism from the study abroad community for not having enough options. And so it goes . . .

15. studyabroadguru - July 26, 2010 at 02:26 pm

A "variety of program options" means (a) programs ranging from one week to a full academic year, (b) partnerships or other program options around the world, (c) different types of program providers and paths (third party, exchange, direct enroll, faculty-led, teach abroad, intern abroad, campus abroad, etc.), and (d) a variety of prices that may range from low (5K) to high (25K) depending on the chosen option. Naturally, a program in London is more expensive than one in Quito, and the pricing structure and funding model should match the program type (i.e. faculty-led programming must build in the cost of the faculty member and third party programs often build in the cost of a site director). Lastly, it means that we put students first, and subsequently their education, academic, and career goals. If they find a better fit outside of our own portfolio of options, why would we restrict or prohibit them from the program, other than to protect our interests? We can certainly do more to share students and programs and create win-win situations for both our institutions and our students.

16. gretricht - July 27, 2010 at 12:14 am

The author may want to correct some of the text in the sentence that begins, "Many land-grant institutions, like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, adopted the decentralized approach.." In fact, it's Michigan State University, not UofM, that's the land grant institution - in fact, MSU has the distinction of being the first one in the US. MSU is also known for its efforts in encouraging study abroad programs.

17. honore - July 28, 2010 at 09:03 am

studyabroadguru...let me know if you want to collaborate on this...I have TONS of research, background and experience on both sides of the "pond"...and "thanks"...
P.S. the CHE should have no trouble connecting us

18. ian_wilhelm - July 28, 2010 at 03:40 pm

We've corrected the commentary article to reflect that the University of Michigan is not a land-grant institution.

Ian Wilhelm
Associate Editor -- Global Edition
The Chronicle of Higher Education

19. panrimo - July 28, 2010 at 06:29 pm

Solid article, Wendy. Preparation for risk, and fair value at a fair price are two points we find most important in the private industry of study and intern abroad programs. Where can we offer solid academic and culturally enriching programs abroad that doesn't raise red flags in the minds of parents? And at what price can we offer such programs so all students considering going abroad is a viable option, without sacrificing safety?

At Panrimo Customized Study Abroad Programs, yes, we offer destinations that are the most popular. But the programs are structured to be affordable--all things considered--and monitored with proper oversight regarding political unrest, host university professor strikes, global consensus toward an ethnic group, food-borne illnesses, the list goes on.

I find what helps most is dialogue. Dialogue with US university international and study abroad staff. We constantly ask them what they're doing to address safety and money issues. We share our tiered price structure with them--more students are able to go abroad from their institution, and they share the latest safety standards and protocols--so that we are a provider meet their expectations.

It really is a talk and listen, talk and listen relationship we as global educators should have between all parties. When it comes to risk aversion and affordability, it shouldn't be an either/or.

Tony
Panrimo.com

20. pretemoiparis - July 29, 2010 at 03:50 am

@honore
Yes, it is necessary that study abroad become more and more affordable. Fortunately there are many study aborad progams that are doing just that. The variety of what is being offered is also expanding. More interesting than just a rant and rave about high costs and price-gouging programs, it would be nice to see an article that clearly points out the actual costs of study aborad, what actually goes into a program in terms of time, money, effort, preparation and like the author of this article points out, the inevitable; and of course where costs can be cut in order to make it more affordable. Study abroad is not just another product you get off of a shelf, there are a lot of unforseen factors involved, as well as a lot of variables. One should not prepare lightly for students coming overseas.

I feel this article by Wendy Williamson is insightful, well written and organized, and is relevant to the title of the article. Thanks Wendy.

21. studyabroadguru - July 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

@honore - Thank you. My next article will address all of which you suggest and more...I appreciate your pointing out the need.

@panrimo - Thank you also, Tony. I agree wholeheartedly that dialog is extremely important in our field, and I appreciate what you do in Panrimo. Your "customized" pricing options put the decision back into the students' hands. The more we can enable students in the decision-making process, the more pivotal we become in helping them meet their unique educational needs and career goals. Since "customer service" has overwhelmed our field, unto a plethora of for-profit entities, we forget that a good education must be challenging. If you remove the “challenge” in study abroad, then you diminish learning, growth, maturity, etc.

22. studyabroadguru - July 29, 2010 at 10:02 am

@pretemoiparis - Thank you also! I will be adding your suggestions into my next article. I appreciate your taking the time to write a comment.

23. rachaelski - July 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

Hi, I attended a small liberal arts college in the midwest. One of the general education requirements was a service learning trip (the school is Mennonite, and service is a big part of that church). The school offered both domestic and foreign trip options. Now, the trips were shorter than typical study abroad trips, usually around 3 or 4 weeks. I visited Vietnam, and I believe we paid around 1,200-1,500 dollars for the trip (the school paid our the credit hours money, to some extent, for additional costs). Certainly Vietnam costs less in country than a trip to Europe, but overall the experiences were very affordable (and this comes from a student who came from a working class family, who had to finance the trip on her own). In addition, I think the trip was of greater value, because that service element was there. We visited important sites and attractions, but we also contributed to our temporary community in a, what I hope was, valuable way. Another thing that the small LA schools did in that region was advertise trips to other schools. If each school offered 1 or 2 semester abroad trips, and they were advertised in the region, students were given opportunities to go almost anywhere, and the schools did not have the overwhelming task of managing multiple larger study-abroad experiences.

24. university_thailand - July 30, 2010 at 04:39 am

I had to look twice in case I read it wrong. But seems that their tuition with housing is 9,500 USD. That's crazy, paying 30,000 + at home and then going there. Might as well transfer. What a difference that is.

Their website -

25. gk3140 - July 30, 2010 at 10:31 am

I studied abroad in Bologna, Italy for a year with Indiana University. All of my classes were with the Universita di Bologna.

They make a huge effort to immerse the students completely in life with italian students. The downside is that my home university made me pay full tuition when the program was literally a 3rd of the price.

http://purepersonalproducts.com

26. df1995 - July 30, 2010 at 02:12 pm

I teach at a mid-sized Masters offering state university. Almost all my students work at least part-time to support their education (and their cars). Unless there's a Wal-Mart abroad they can work at, they're not going to study abroad.

This article relects a very limited knowledge of the variety of current college students. Only a minority are the traditional 18-22 year olds mostly if not fully supported by their parents.

27. seejay - July 30, 2010 at 08:06 pm

One advantage of a program where the home institution collects tuition: it also guarantees the acceptability / transferability of the credits earned. It is always an option for a student to enroll directly in a foreign university, amass credits in whatever form they are issued, and come back to the home institution and try to get the courses acknowledged, but that entails some risk: the risk of all the money and time spent for this opportunity.
I studied abroad for a year, had essentially nothing transferred back (and, for what it is worth, did not expect it to be) and was immensely enriched by the experience, but -- postponed graduation by one year. I was not financially independent and reliant on a full scholarship upon my return, but not everyone is so fortunate (or naive). In short, there are at least two sides to this issue.

28. educ8me - July 30, 2010 at 08:54 pm

I work at an International business school in Korea, where all courses are in English, more than 75% of the profs are international and we follow an American curriculum teaching model. We love both student exchange students as well as study abroad. Not only is our tuition a steal (about $10K for Bachelors), but cost of living is lower than the US as well. If you take a year off from your studies in the states (get approval from your Registrar to suspend your education for a year at your home institution), come here to study for one year. Great cultural experience as well as quality courses which would transfer back to your home school. We are campaigning for student exchange and study abroad relationships with quality US universities. We wish to help students learn more about other people's cultures and our environment is just that. 80% of our student body is non-Korean. Check us out at www.solbridge.ac.kr and talk with your advisors at home about helping you have a study-abroad / exchange with us.

29. 22228715 - August 01, 2010 at 09:58 am

Seejay's point is important, and came late in the discussion. Not all education is equal, and if a home institution is going to let a student use credits earned anywhere else as a part of the degree, the home institution needs to be confident that those credits are not watered-down versions. To give a degree is to certify so, and not being vigilant about that is unethical and threatens the value of all degrees from that institution.

This is an instructional issue, but also a monetary issue. Sure, from a student perspective, it may be cheaper to take courses at a university in an another country (or in another state, for that matter). But is the quality comparable? Will the degree and its reputation for representing a solid education be a help or a hindrance in future job searches and grad school applications? Is the second option REALLY less expensive -- is the tuition at option 2 for everyone (including US students looking for cheap deals before taking that education home with them) or for citizens the country is subsidizing? US students seem to increasingly see education as something an individual purchases for her own later financial gain, but for many here and whole systems abroad, education is a common good and a way to invest in future decades of societal improvement.

If all that works out, fine, transfer. But realize that you're not at the discount store, and price comparison is an overly-simplistic way to "buy" education. It is easy to make poor choices when approaching it that way.

30. internationalisation - August 02, 2010 at 03:48 am

Dear Wendy,

That is a nice article you presented us with.
In response to a lot of the comments presented here I would like to invite you all to read up on exchange programmes. Many European Universities do allow exchange fo students without fees for the students. Bilateral agreements are signed throughout the year by our faculty to enable students to study abroad. As a result, we send out 30 percent of our MSc population, to study abroad for a minimum of 3 months each.

There is absolutely no reason for institutes to charge their students for an exchange programme or for credit transfer.

We do however notice that US institutes are very hesitant to sign such contracts. Most of the MSc programmes do not allow students to move abroad. Yet in Europe most BSc programmes are not english-taught, making an exchange complicated. But there are certainly options for institutes of reasonable quality to enter into bilateral agreements for student exchange.

By signing these agreement, you facilitate the students by first of all making it affordable, and second of all, pre-selecting quality institutions. All credits obtained at a partner institute (Institutes with which we have a bilateral agreement) are credited towards the education programme of our students. This makes it very interesting to spent say, 3 months in Roma, or half a year in Melbourne. Or, as 10 industrial engineering students each year do, a semester in Beijing.

31. sarahc - August 03, 2010 at 12:55 pm

With regards to financial aspects, I find that you need to consider the entire experience rather than just the tuition fees. I was able to study abroad in Mexico, and have close friends who did the same in Argentina. Overall (with living expenses included), we both ended up coming home with more money in our bank accounts then we would have had staying at our home institutions.
I also was able to study abroad in Washington, DC the following year and obviously did not have the same result.
I think it should be obvious that if students decide to study abroad in, for example, Western Europe, or "elite" cities they will obviously be paying more for the overall experience (tuition plus additional costs).

I am Canadian with my home institution being in Canada so I feel as though my tuition fees in general would be quite a bit less than those for American students, but I still think all other factors need to be considered with regards to financial aspects of study abroad.

32. intld00r - August 04, 2010 at 11:55 am

U.S students feel that they can neither afford, find the time, or speak another language in order to participate in a study abroad program because they do not receive the proper information from their International Centers and/or Departments.

There are plenty of programs for everyone at a variety of costs. Sometimes, it is less expensive to to study in a foreign country than it is to study in the U.S. You just need to know how to research for what you are looking for.

If you are interested in studying abroad many of the International Centers have two different departments for study abroad:
1. Bilateral Agreement/Exchange agreements - where a university has a direct agreement with that specific university of choice and those students accepted into these types of agreements will be responsible to pay for their home tuition, student visa fees, extra fun expenditures, flights, etc. Some of these agreements may or may not included housing. In my opinion it is a bigger "deal" and cost saver for international students to come to the U.S. through an exchange agreement because many foreing universities do not charge tuition to their students, and if they do it is a very minimal amount in comparison to even our U.S. public schools. (Currently, this is in the process of changing. However, the sums that foreign universities are charging are still way less than the average price to attend your U.S. Public University.) Also, if you go through a direct exchange agreement with your university, you will be competing for 1-5 spots, and may not get in. So this is where I encourage U.S. Students to take their time and research for their own study abroad program. You can do this by asking for information from your OAP Opportunities Abroad Programs Director (or its equivalent).
2. OAP - Opportunities Abroad Programs - are programs that have been approved by the university (maybe not your department so you need to double check) to have available for interested students. These are programs that do not have a direct bi-lateral/exchange agreement with your university but are still of high quality programs (sometimes better). The fact is - is that it is very time consuming for universities to sent out people to check the quality of each institution that would like to establish an agreement. With the U.S. Economy at a low, there isn't enough money to be able to establish agreements between various universities around the world. Thus, just because your university may not have an agreement with a university doesn't mean that it is a bad university, etc.

I am in charge of the student recruitment of international students into a world-class university. I've also studied abroad on two different occassions. Once through a direct exchange and another through a program that I researched on my own, checked with my advisors to see if the credits woud transfer, and ended up saving thousands of dollars to study one year abroad than to continue to study in a local public university.

There are still countries out there that offer world-class education for free: Norway, Sweden (only for exchange programs), and Finland (only for exchange programs). Switzerland and the Netherlands and Denmark charge a nominal fee. Many of these programs are in English. While it is expensive to live there, the money you save in tuition you can apply to living costs.

There is just SO much out there for every socio-economic class, background, language, etc. Engineer programs, Psychology programs, etc. There are government grants that you can obtain on the state government pages too.

As a prospective study abroad student you need to take at least a year to study and save up. That's a fact. No way around it. The doors that it will open up to you after your experience are priceless...good luck.

If you have questions, please post a comment.

33. fhull - August 06, 2010 at 10:55 am

You neglect to point out that too many US universities and colleges these days seem to worry more about their profit and do not see value in much more than a short sojourn at a foreign university. We, for example, don't charge tuition for international students on semester or two programs not because we are cheap but because the presence of a US student in our classrooms is of value to our students and faculty in and of itself.

Dr. Frank Hull, Director, Internacional
Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila -- Public State University System but in Mexico

34. intld00r - August 09, 2010 at 12:49 pm

U.S. Universities and colleges worry about their profit because U.S. Universities receive very little monitary support from U.S. government, and are still expected to provide strong research developments and rankings in order to attract students. So, unfortunately, U.S. Citizens also have to pay a lot of money for a public education in addition to paying taxes to subsidize the public education system. Unfortunately, if we have to charge U.S. citizens to participate in public education, then we have to charge international students. U.S. students are less likely to study abroad for longer than a year, because many of our students are working through their university studies in order to pay for their education and can not afford to leave their jobs. Also, they are not as well informed to the possibilities that they have abroad.

There is a huge value in international participation. I'm a big advocate for study abroad. While the university that I work for does not have a strong international presence and funding support international students there are many in the U.S. that do.

The point of my argument was to say that there is opportunity for all students of all nationalities to study abroad of all socioeconomic classes. Students just have to take the time research it.

35. rabbitquest - August 24, 2010 at 05:28 am

Dear Reader,
Lets do some estimating: Lets say an american professor costs 75K/yr. Lets say a student has a full time load of 16 hours per week of classtime. Let us say that the professor teaches a work load of 8 hours of class time, and 32 hours of 'prep' time, per week. Lets say that the class size is 30 students.
That works out to two professors allocated per 30 full time students: $75,000*2/30students = $5000 per student per year.

So the costs of paying the American professors accounts for about 5k of the 30k figure for annual tuition per student used in the article. If a school has to pay 7k to an overseas school to take a student off their hands for a year, they would actually be paying a bit more than if the student just stayed on campus.

We can assume the other 25k, or 23k, in case of the overseas student, must be used by the American college to maintain it's buildings, and it's prestige, and brand name, which is what a graduate wants, ultimately?

A final comment on people feeling that something 'unethical' is going on when they see the college spending 7000,while charging 30000, well, follow the cost of a bushel of tomatoes from the farm to the store, and you may see the cost go from $4 per bushel, to a little more than that.

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