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October 19, 2022

Development and Maintenance of Quality Study Abroad Options

Study Abroad Options

University is one of the most critical moments on the path to education. But when you make up your mind to study overseas, it’s a whole new ball game.! But no need to worry because Expert Opinion will guide you thoroughly about everything that needs to be considered for study abroad options.

According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the number of international students worldwide is increasing by 12% yearly for obvious reasons such as superior education and better career opportunities. In addition to the educational and professional benefits, prospective students also choose to study abroad to work on their personal development. You will adapt to different situations in a foreign country, experience new cultures, and learn more about yourself than anywhere else. The international study offers a broader range of courses, including skills-based research and student training opportunities. It helps broaden your horizons and opens up new learning opportunities. Not only that, but some study abroad options also allow you to take different courses simultaneously.

Study Abroad Options

Which Program to Study?

 When deciding which study abroad programs your office will promote, support, endorse, and affiliate with, it is important to understand best practices in international education. What are your institution’s priorities, and how do these priorities correspond to different study-abroad options? In the same way, your institution lets students choose their major and different academic paths to a degree. It is also necessary to support additional study-abroad options for students. There is no one “ideal” study abroad program or type. Think of it as providing a “portfolio” of opportunities. Different types of programs will produce different results. Things to consider when reviewing/promoting programs:

  • Program length       
  • Geographical location       
  • Language of the host country      
  • Academic standards and structure    
  • Academic curriculum choices       
  • Immersion in the host culture     
  • Interact with locals      
  • Housing       
  • Security and emergency services        
  • Guidance services       
  • Utilization of the host country’s resources
  • Staff on site       
  • Costs

 

What are the Best Practices?

There are currently no “certified” or “accredited” study abroad options. Is the Education Abroad Forum a professional organization empowered to establish “best practices” that distinguish programs operating at the highest standards? Please familiarize yourself with these standards and ask the program directors and providers how they align with best practices for responsible study abroad options. 

Just as there is no ideal place for a study abroad, there is no one perfect structure for a study abroad. There is a time and place for dissimilar systems in creating different student outcomes. Suppose your institution’s priority is to promote and develop foreign language skills. 

 

Determining the Appropriate Methodology

In that case, you would not limit your students’ options to U.K. programs or devote much of your efforts to short-term faculty programs. Determining the appropriate methodology is critical to achieving the intended results. A two-week international experience provides valuable and consequential learning outcomes. Still, a two-week experience cannot be considered a suitable methodology for developing an adequate level of intercultural competence. So, the type of program should be appropriate for the intended results.

Unfortunately, some institutions operating without explicit intended outcomes may look to the “number of studies abroad enrollments/participants” as a measure of success. However, “several studies abroad enrollments/participants” do not indicate the quality, relevance, or learning outcomes of international experiences.

Even with the best intentions, it is practicable to generate learning outcomes that initiate and reinforce negative stereotypes and increase the discomfort of intercultural interactions if programs are not appropriately developed and supported. As education abroad enters the arena of public scrutiny and administrative prominence, institutions are being compared and ranked.

Unfortunately, the measures are limited to reaching the number of employees. And thus, there is a risk that number crunchers will emphasize volume at the expense of quality. It may take some reminding that just as the U.S. News and World Report do not rank universities only by the number of students enrolled. Schools should not be rated in international education only by the number of students enrolled.

Relevant and measurable intended outcomes measure the quality of education. Education abroad should adopt Similar and appropriate quality measures to test students’ eligibility. Doing this will bring clarity and sustain the country’s reputation in front of other countries’ administrations. 

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