Persuasive Essay Draft: Study Abroad

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In a time where global connectivity is increasing at an astounding rate, intercultural awareness is a crucial component of a successful future. According to the International Telecommunications Union, the number of Internet users worldwide has increased from 500 million in 2001 to an estimated 2.5 billion in 2011 (ITU, itu.int). This rapidly expanding global network means that people from all over the world are communicating and interacting with each other on a daily basis. This development also yields one of the most important issues of our time, the ability to interact proficiently among other cultures. It is essential that universities take serious action to prepare their students for the global job market that is becoming more and more competitive with due to international competition. Also students must be ready to interact and communicate with a variety of cultures because of increased globalization. With the preconceived notion of American ignorance already looming over our heads, how can the US break from its shell and prepare future generations to be interculturally competent? Study abroad opportunities in higher education are a key method to achieving global awareness and preparing students for their future in this interconnected world. In the 2009/2010 academic year 270,604 U.S. students participated in study abroad programs (SAP) - but is that enough (Institute of International Education/ii.org)? Students are faced with many obstacles when choosing to study abroad (SA): location, finance, language and social issues. Due to the growing global network it is urgent for administrators and students to take full advantage of study abroad opportunities as a vehicle for personal, academic, professional and cultural development; and create a more accessible policy for study abroad programs.

International education programs present an ample opportunity for personal growth. The Institute for the International Education of Students...
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