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The University of Iowa College of Education may soon offer a shorter, three-week program to education majors who would like to fulfill their student-teaching requirement abroad.

Margaret Crocco, the dean of the education school, said the standard study-abroad program offered to education majors is seven or eight weeks long — roughly half of the 15-week student-teaching period required. She has recently looked into creating a shorter program because the eight-week commitment is a long period of time and quite costly.

“We want to see if there is a way if we might create a shorter term of student teaching or observing in the classroom that would be available in May or June as little as three weeks,” Crocco said. “We think it is so important — we want to give people a taste of teaching and living overseas.”

Spending some time teaching abroad is beneficial for education majors, Crocco said. Sixty-five students in the college have studied abroad as part of their student-teaching requirement in the last five years.

“It’s not common that those numbers are small, because we place a couple hundred people in student teaching each year,” she said. “We’d like to see more people get involved.”

Mary Heath, a UI Office of Education Services official, said students who teach abroad pay a full semester’s tuition. The cost last year for in-state residents was $4,028, $12,139 for nonresidents.

Jennifer O’Hare, a recent graduate from the UI elementary-education program, volunteered at an elementary school in Costa Rica for a few weeks one summer but has never officially studied abroad through the university.

“I think that the more teaching experience that varies from one another, the better,” she said. “You will be more prepared when thrown into a new teaching position where the environment may not be familiar.”

Crocco said students generally focus on English-speaking countries, and the school has had students teach in Ireland, England, New Zealand, and Australia. However, small number of people have taught in countries with different native languages, including Spain and Switzerland.

“We’re placing people in local public schools, so they need to speak the public language,” she said.

Based on the feedback from both students and employers, Crocco said, when students put studying abroad on their résumé she feels it’s an enhancement to a job application.

“Students who go to another country and teach effectively must be independent, mature people,” she said.

A study-abroad expert at Michigan State University agreed with Crocco, noting experience matters when applying for a job.

“The words ‘study abroad’ on a résumé alone does not help a student get a job,” said Linda Gross, an associate director of career services at Michigan State. “What matters is the experience and the skills [they learned while abroad].”

Gross has worked with education majors who have studied abroad at Michigan State University through workshops where she teaches them how to “unpack” their study-abroad experience. A lot of students do not feel what they learned in another country is relevant in America schools, she said.

“One of my favorite questions to ask them is ‘how would you bring your study-abroad experience into the classroom [in America]?’ ” she said. “It’s not necessarily going to get them the job alone, it’s really how they talk about their entire preparation.”

source by AMY SKARNULIS, The Daily Iowan

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Going to a foreign land in pursuit of further study has enticed many with its offer of worldly experiences and opportunities. Three individuals speak about what it is really like studying abroad.

Anthony Michael

Becauseof its worldwide recognition and long history, Anthony chose the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to pursue his interior design course.

Having studied previously at a local institution, Anthony says that the learning programme at RMIT was more structured.

“I found the head of department and lecturers more approachable. There was more of a friendship than a strict student-lecturer relationship, which made it easier to seek assistance from them. The programme co-ordinator also set up regular one-to-one meetings to review student progress and for students to voice out concerns.”

According to Anthony, studying in a foreign university will give students international exposure as they mingle with both students and staff from other parts of the world. For a design student, he adds, this is particularly important.

He says those planning to pursue their education at an overseas institution should carry out extensive research beforehand on the chosen university and country. And whilst there, he advises them to make the best of the education offered and find time to join social groups on campus.

Of course, studying in a foreign land comes with challenges and Anthony was not spared. He says having to cope with the changing seasons, especially winter was rather difficult.

“Also because you are not at home, you are not in your comfort zone and being away from your family and friends can be rather tough at times.”

But studying overseas, Anthony continues, taught him to be more independent. For example when pocket money was running out, he took on part-time jobs that included telemarketing and leaflet-distribution to help sustain his lifestyle.

Anthony considered staying on in Melbourne once he graduated but as he was offered a job back in Malaysia, he chose to return home. He has since then moved to London where he works as an interior designer.

If asked to do it all again, Anthony says he would not hesitate in choosing the same institution. “I was very happy with the education I received and the study culture so I will definitely choose the RMIT experience all over again.”

Allan Kwek

The Charles Sturt University in Australia was Kwek’s choice to continue his tertiary education. Kwek studied advertising and says he chose Charles Sturt University because it was linked to his college.

He says that the study culture at the university was different from what he was used to in that people were more willing to participate in classes and were more outspoken, which he found to be good. However, what he found challenging was trying to understand the Australian accent.

Like most students studying overseas, funds were scarce so Kwek had to look for an alternative to supplement his pocket money. “I took on jobs as a chef at a few small restaurants cooking Chinese food. These restaurants allowed me a decent wage for my living expenses,” he says.

After graduating Kwek worked in Australia for two years but soon realised that home is really where the heart is; he decided to come back.

“Even though the wages and the lifestyle is better there, Malaysia is still home to me and I do not regret my decision at all,” Kwek says.

Kwek presently works as an animation producer, working mainly on commercials, TV series and anything that requires graphics or animating and has been in this field for about a year-and-a-half.

In his opinion, employers take higher education seriously but he feels that it does not stop there.

“One must have the passion and knowledge in his chosen field. Take advertising for example, you cannot be an advertiser solely through books as you need the passion for knowledge and selling. You need to be in the mind of consumers and think like them. It’s all about presenting and selling yourself at the end of the day,” he explains.

For those planning to go overseas, Kwek’s advice is to go with an open mind. “It was a good experience for me to wake up to something different and unfamiliar every day. If the opportunity presents itself, leave and come back with knowledge.”

“And when you’re there, never forget your roots.”

Audrey See Tho

A psychology major at the Stony Brook University in New York, See Tho says she chose to study at this university because of its high quality of research and teaching in psychology.

“I also chose the university because it is part of a network of New York state public universities called ‘State University of New York’ and it’s relatively near distance to New York City,” she explains.

See Tho says that everything is discussion-based in class and if you don’t raise your hand and ask questions, you lose out. “Professors are also very willing to mentor students and are always welcoming students to come to their office for questions or just a chat,” she adds.

Studying away from home has helped See Tho attain independence and leadership skills as she had to do everything on her own from grocery shopping to paying the bills. Together with the good, studying abroad brought with it a set of challenges.

“The distance from home also brings various stresses such as homesickness, loneliness and in winter when the sun sets really early, one can easily get depressed,” See Tho says.

She also had to cut down on her spending as she realised she could not just rely on her parents for funds so took up a job in the library as a student assistant.

See Tho says that she would definitely encourage students to study overseas as it has exposed her to so many different people and experiences and she now looks at things from new perspectives.

“New York City has broadened my vision of the world. I have been provided with so many opportunities and have met so many interesting people during my time here,” she elaborates.

Once she graduates, See Tho plans to stay on in the US if she is offered an opportunity. “I do not, however, intend to live here for the rest of my life. Malaysia is my home and I want to bring better changes to my home country with the knowledge I have gained overseas.”

Source by Gregory Basil, New Straits Times MY

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When we signed up for study abroad, we were told in so many words what to expect and what the experience was going to be like. We were told that we would visit historical sites, monuments and museums while also getting the opportunity to experience a different culture while earning college credit.

Well, after embarking on the journey and making it home, I can tell you that those things are true, but what it is more difficult to explain is just how memorable and life changing study abroad can be.

While I’m not going to sit here and say that I suddenly discovered a solution to all my problems while drinking a beer in London or found the meaning of life while sipping on wine in France, I will tell you that the things I saw are something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The study abroad I went on was a 10-day trip themed after D-Day, the 1944 Allied invasion of France. Our journey took us over the Atlantic into London, down to Portsmouth, across the English Channel into Normandy and ended in Paris.

Beach of Normandy

While on the beaches of Normandy, I had a great epiphany that I think is worth sharing, one that I think encapsulates the thing that makes study abroad so valuable. What I realized was that no amount of reading, lectures, movies or any other retelling of an event can come close to actually experiencing it for your self.

Only when I was standing on the damp sand of Omaha Beach, staring from the water’s edge back to the towering cliffs, did the magnitude of what the Americans accomplished really sink in. Only when I was standing in a crater on Pointe du Hoc did the true power of the navel warships I had read about truly make sense.

My point is that there is no way to completely explain the feelings and thoughts a place will evoke without being there. That is the true magic of study abroad. Through the program, you can go to those places, experience those emotions and create those memories.

So to those of you who are considering study abroad, I hope this helps inform your decision. Remember, you only live once so get out there and see what the world has to offer.

Source: The Lion’s Roar

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International programs aid graduates’chances of finding employment

Florida State University students participating in International Programs are taking full advantage by not only finding new and interesting jobs, but also enjoying the opportunity to experience a different and unique country.

Florida State University students participating in International Programs are taking full advantage by not only finding new and interesting jobs, but also enjoying the opportunity to experience a different and unique country. / Photo courtesy of FSU International Programs

A recent study shows that students who have studied abroad in college find jobs related to their majors faster following graduation—and sometimes get paid at higher salaries. In the International Education of Students (IES) Abroad survey, all but 10 percent of graduates who had studied abroad became employed within six months of becoming alumni, and over half of the jobs received related to their college majors.

Most of these young adults also received jobs that were full time rather than part time with starting salaries of $35,000. Meghan Greene, the marketing director for FSU’s International Programs, said international study may be the deciding factor for hire.

“Often, employers are looking for candidates with international experience, or when they are comparing candidates, those with international experience will help them stand out,” Green said. “Having that on a resume really can boost its quality.”

When comparing graduates who did not study abroad to ones who did, the percentage of employed graduates dropped to 49 percent after a year of their graduation dates. They were also paid an average of $7,000 less than the IES Abroad students. A total of 1,008 graduates participated in this 2012 study, and half of the alumni who studied abroad felt a large reason why they were hired was due to their experiences abroad. A whole 84 percent felt they gained valuable skills for both their future occupations and their lives.Florida State senior Giuliana Capiello fell into this category after spending her whole freshman year of college studying in Florence, London and Barcelona.

“We learned how to be resourceful at a young age,” Capiello said. “We have real-world experience with communicating with people outside of our element.”
Myrna Hoover, director of the FSU Career Center, confirms that skills obtained from studying abroad are essential because they show a graduate’s cultural enrichment and global marketability.

“They allow them to promote the fact that they understand people from different backgrounds and different cultures, that they understand this global economy that we live in and that they are comfortable when they go somewhere where they’re unfamiliar […],” said Hoover.

Acquiring these skills was no walk in the park, Capiello said, since they included trying to navigate through the train systems, being especially watchful over belongings, communicating with the locals, finding food while remaining within her budget and all the while focusing on studies.

“[…] a crash course in multitasking […] nurtured my sense of self-confidence, which is sought after by employers,” Capiello said.

Greene said these multitasking and life skills are a desirable traits for a future employee to have, and managers view the experience highly.

“Studying abroad typically helps students become more independent, often have a broader global perspective and typically helps develop confidence,” Greene said.
Hope English, a sophomore at FSU, hopes to gain this adventurous and liberated lifestyle when she studies abroad in London in the fall.

“I’m not a natural adventurer, so I am hoping I will be able to push myself to explore Europe and learn to travel on my own,” English said.

English is well aware of the employment benefits studying abroad brings, and said she is looking forward to the recognition.

“Employers will look for people that work well with others and solve problems, and I think that studying abroad helps students strengthen these skills and will help ones chances at getting a job,” English said.

Taken from fsunews.com

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 “Developed economies are already highly dependent on universities and if anything that reliance will increase”

                                                                                                                                                                     David WillettsUK universities minister

At the beginning of the last century, the power of nations might have been measured in battleships and coal.

 Aalto University in Finland is teaching Chinese students in English

In this century it’s as likely to be graduates.

There has been an unprecedented global surge in the numbers of young people going to university.

Among the developed OECD countries, graduation rates have almost doubled since the mid-1990s.

China’s plans are not so much an upward incline as a vertical take-off.

In 1998, there were only about a million students in China. Within a decade, it had become the biggest university system in the world.

Figures last month from China’s education ministry reported more than 34 million graduates in the past four years. By 2020 there will be 35.5 million students enrolled.

The president of Yale described this as the fastest such expansion in human history.

Inextricably linked with this expansion has been another phenomenon – the globalisation of universities.

Global networks

There are more universities operating in other countries, recruiting students from overseas, setting up partnerships, providing online degrees and teaching in other languages than ever before.

Chinese students are taking degrees taught in English in Finnish universities; the Sorbonne is awarding French degrees in Abu Dhabi; US universities are opening in China and South Korean universities are switching teaching to English so they can compete with everyone else.

Students graduate in South Korea, 2011
Capturing the moment: South Korea has turned itself into a global player in higher education

It’s like one of those board games where all the players are trying to move on to everyone else’s squares.

It’s not simply a case of western universities looking for new markets. Many countries in the Middle East and Asia are deliberately seeking overseas universities, as a way of fast-forwarding a research base.

In Qatar, the purpose-built Education City now has branches of eight overseas universities, with more to follow. Shanghai is set to be another magnet for international campuses.

‘Idea capitals’

This global network is the way of the future, says John Sexton, president of New York University.

“There’s a world view that universities, and the most talented people in universities, will operate beyond sovereignty.

“Much like in the renaissance in Europe, when the talent class and the creative class travelled among the great idea capitals, so in the 21st century, the people who carry the ideas that will shape the future will travel among the capitals.

“But instead of old European names it will be names like Shanghai and Abu Dhabi and London and New York. Those universities will be populated by those high-talent people.”

New York University, one of the biggest private universities in the US, has campuses in New York and Abu Dhabi, with plans for another in Shanghai. It also has a further 16 academic centres around the world.

Mr Sexton sets out a different kind of map of the world, in which universities, with bases in several cities, become the hubs for the economies of the future, “magnetising talent” and providing the ideas and energy to drive economic innovation.

Universities are also being used as flag carriers for national economic ambitions – driving forward modernisation plans.

For some it’s been a spectacularly fast rise. According to the OECD, in the 1960s South Korea had a similar national wealth to Afghanistan. Now it tops international education league tables and has some of the highest-rated universities in the world.

The Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea was only founded in 1986 – and is now in the top 30 of the Times Higher’s global league table, elbowing past many ancient and venerable institutions.

It also wants to compete on an international stage so the university has decided that all its graduate programmes should be taught in English rather than Korean.

Spending power

Philip Altbach, director of the Centre for International Higher Education, based in Boston College in the United States, says governments want to use universities to upgrade their workforce and develop hi-tech industries.

Sheikh Hamid Bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Francois Fillon open the Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi
The first French-speaking university in the Gulf, a branch of the Sorbonne, was opened last month

“Universities are being seen as a key to the new economies, they’re trying to grow the knowledge economy by building a base in universities,” says Professor Altbach.

Families, from rural China to eastern Europe, are also seeing university as a way of helping their children to get higher-paid jobs. A growing middle-class in India is pushing an expansion in places.

Universities also stand to gain from recruiting overseas. “Universities in the rich countries are making big bucks,” he says. This international trade is worth at least $50 billion a year, he estimates, the lion’s share currently being claimed by the US.

If there are parallels with economic and political rivalries, the US remains the academic superpower, not least because of the raw wealth of its top universities.

Despite its investments taking a hammering from the financial crisis, Harvard sits on an endowment worth $27.4bn and spends more than $3.5bn a year.

It means that for every one dollar spent by a leading European university such as the London School Economics, Harvard can spend almost $10.

Even the poorest Ivy League university in the US will have an endowment bigger than the gross domestic product of many African countries.

Facebook generation

The success of the US system is not just about funding, says Professor Altbach. It’s also because it’s well run and research is effectively organised. “Of course there are lots of lousy institutions in the US, but overall the system works well.”

The status of the US system has been bolstered by the link between its university research and developing hi-tech industries. Icons of the internet-age such Google and Facebook grew out of US campuses.

“Developed economies are already highly dependent on universities and if anything that reliance will increase,” says the UK’s universities minister, David Willetts.

And he says that globalisation in higher education is increasing in pace and “going to go a lot further”.

“The rapid increase in international students, not just in the UK but in other countries with high quality universities, is a case in point.

“Universities are internationalised along other fronts too – for example, in the research that they do, which often has greater impact when conducted in collaboration with institutions in other countries.”

University of laptop

Technology, much of it hatched on university campuses, is also changing higher education and blurring national boundaries.

Online services such as Apple’s iTunes U gives public access to lectures from more than 800 universities and more than 300 million have been downloaded. And where else would a chemistry lecture get to be a chart topper?

NYU Abu Dhabi
New York University in Abu Dhabi: The university’s president says this is the era of “global networks”

It raises many questions too. What are the expectations of this Facebook generation? They might have degrees and be able to see what is happening on the other side of the world, but will there be enough jobs to match their ambitions?

Who is going to pay for such an expanded university system? And what about those who will struggle to afford a place?

But Mr Willetts says that globalisation is having a “positive impact” for students, academics and employers.

And Professor Sexton remains optimistic that globalism will be about co-operation as much as competition and he summons up the forward-looking attitude of immigrants arriving in New York.

“The immigrant is always looking forwards to a better tomorrow, not looking back to a golden age.”

graph of graduation rates
Taken from BBC News, By Sean Coughlan

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