Study abroad has to be revolutionary
If study abroad is not revolutionary for every student then why are they going? If it is just a fancy vacation, a night life tour of the world and not much more then it really is a waste of money, time, and resoures.
If it is does not incorporate the knowledge and concerns of the host communities, it might just as likely perpetuate the stereotypes it means to break down.
If this vein, Melibee Global and Amizade * have been busy putting together a website, BetterAbroad, aimed at helping education abroad professionals (as well as students, their families, faculty, and administration) pinpoint any weak spots in their program or its design and find resources on line to improve upon them. It is free. We have put a lot of work into organizing and weeding through a large amount of information, articles, videos, and activities available on the internet (and off), making sure that they are both useful and supportive of a goal of “quality over quantity”. We also drafted and redrafted the characteristics of “Better Abroad” style programming until we got them just right. Of course this is the debut and BetterAbroad hopes to be part of a larger conversation about quality in education abroad and will grow and change over time as more people get involved and add their experiences and opinions.
I’d love to hear what you think!
*Amizade has a great mission that they call “Fair Trade Learning” that is definately worth checking out.