The links below are a range of resources and tools students might find useful when considering integration of a study abroad experience into their undergraduate curriculum. This is not an exhaustive list but is offered as a starting point for preliminary information for making good decisions about the how, what, when, where, and why of a term abroad.

D-Space

Perspectives

World News

Arts & Letters Daily
Centers for Disease Control
Currency Table
Council on Foreign Relations
Diversity Issues in Study Abroad (pdf)
Embassies and Consulates
Glimpse Quarterly
Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Reading Room
Library of Congress Asian Reading Room
Library of Congress European Reading Room
Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room
Passport Information Center
Scout Report
State Department Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets
Supporting Diversity in Study Abroad
Voting in US federal elections (absentee balloting) while abroad
Weather Underground
World Clock

 

Arts & Letters Daily
A Chronicle of Higher Education site offering a range of news links in addition to three hyperlinked columns: Articles of Note, New Books, and Essays and Opinion. Updated daily.

Centers for Disease Control
This is a comprehensive resource listing all current outbreaks, diseases, and available vaccinations worldwide. It can be searched by region and also offers pointers on how to best maintain health while traveling and what practices to avoid or embrace while abroad.

Currency Table
This interactive site allows you to create cross-rate tables based in the currency of your choice, using current or historical rates for over 50 countries.

Council on Foreign Relations
An online non-partisan resource for those who want to learn more about the complex international issues challenging policy-makers and citizens alike.

Diversity Issues in Study Abroad (pdf)
“A collection by Brown University students about their experiences abroad. The quotes were gathered through a survey that directly addressed issues of diversity including ethnicity, heritage, sexual orientation, religion, minority/majority issues, physical appearance, and language.”

Embassies and Consulates
A US State Department listing – with hyperlinks to their websites - of US Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions around the world.

Glimpse Quarterly
“An international news, travel and culture magazine that features compelling narratives written by youth living abroad, on themes ranging from quarry divers in France to taxicabs in Kyrgyzstan to genocide in Central Africa. With depth, breadth and intimacy, we tackle the international issues that no one talks about and delve into the daily cultural realities that no one sees.” Complimentary copies are available at the UIC Study Abroad Office in UH 502.

Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Reading Room
“A comprehensive US Library of Congress site for a wide variety of materials related to Africa and the Middle East, covering more than 70 countries, from South Africa to Morocco to the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union.”

Library of Congress Asian Reading Room
“From an 1869 presentation of 933 volumes to the United States by the Emperor of China, the collections of the Asian Division have grown to represent one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian language materials in the world. The reading room covers the area from the South Asian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia. With over 2.8 million books, periodicals and newspapers, a large number of manuscripts, and electronic media, the collections are the most comprehensive sources of Asian language materials outside of Asia.”

Library of Congress European Reading Room
“The collections from or pertaining to Europe began with the acquisition of Thomas Jefferson's personal library, which contained representative works of European culture in many subjects. These holdings are especially strong in history, literature, and the social sciences. The French, German, and Russian collections alone comprise an estimated 3,500,000 volumes.”

Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room
“This collection serves as the primary access point for research relating to those parts of the world encompassing the geographical areas of the Caribbean, Latin America, and Iberia; the indigenous cultures of those areas; and peoples throughout the world historically influenced by Luso-Hispanic heritage, including Latinos in the U.S., and peoples of Portuguese or Spanish heritage in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.”

Passport Information Center
Covers first time application procedures, passport renewal, and lost or stolen passport information.

Scout Report
“Since 1994, the Internet Scout Project has focused on research and development projects that provide better tools and services for finding, filtering and delivering online information and metadata.”

State Department Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets
Official US government resource for information about every country in the world including travel warnings, travel alerts, political disturbances, and country entry requirements.

Supporting Diversity in Study Abroad
At this site, students, advisors and parents will find information useful in promoting study abroad participation among underrepresented students, addressing some of the issues and challenges ethnicity may play in their study abroad experience. Among other resources, the site offers a “ten best reasons to study abroad” list for African-Americans, for Asian Americans, for Hispanic Americans, and for Native Americans.

Voting in US federal elections (absentee balloting) while abroad
“Students or educators who will be abroad during Federal elections need to fill out the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to request an Absentee Ballot and/or register to vote. This will allow them to vote in any election for Federal office. Note that this process is different than the procedure to register for domestic absentee voting.”

Weather Underground
This site provides weather forecasts for any location in the world with a fast, easy to use interface available in over 70 languages.

World Clock
This site shows current local comparative time in cities and countries, covering all time zones.

Perspectives

Context

How do we think about study abroad, international education, cross-cultural learning, language acquisition, global citizenship, internationalization, and identity… and what are the contexts for learning about these themes?

Retention & Academic Success Data

Examples of data – all reflecting similar outcomes - on the positive effects of students integrating a study abroad experience into their the undergraduate curriculum.

Assessment

How is a study abroad experience assessed? What are the positive, neutral, and/or negative outcomes? What tools are used and how effective are they?

Career Readiness & the Global Marketplace

What are the career advantages to studying abroad and the national and/or global benefits of student mobility?

Context

How do we think about study abroad, international education, cross-cultural learning, language acquisition, global citizenship, internationalization, and identity… and what are the contexts for learning about these themes?

How Facebook Can Ruin Study Abroad
Chronicle of Higher Education, January 2013

This article by Robert Huesca, a professor of Communications at Trinity University in San Antonio discusses the challenges and impacts  access to technology - cellphones and laptops particularly -  has on culture learning (and culture shock) for students while abroad.

Scholars, Spies, and Global Studies
Chronicle of Higher Education, August 13, 2012

This article by Nicholas B. Dirks, a professor of history and anthropology at Columbia University, who writes: "No one doubts that globalization is one of the most important trends of our day. Nor does anyone question that it affects what we study, how we teach, and whom we seek to reach. Beyond that, however, there is little consensus. Similarly educators increasingly agree that all undergraduates ought to pursue some study abroad. But should it involve language study and full cultural immersion? Or short-term travel and networking through internships and other kinds of programs? The lack of clarity is especially troubling in ... area studies, where a growing number of scholars have abandoned older practices in favor of new forms of global study."

On the Cognitive Benefits of Cultural Experience: Exploring the relationship between Studying Abroad and Creative Thinking
Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, July 2012

Drawing from research that shows a positive relationship between multicultural experiences and creative cognition, the present study investigates creative thinking as a possible cognitive benefit gained from studying abroad. Performance on the two creative thinking tasks were compared between students who have studied abroad, students who are planning to study abroad, and students who have not and do not plan to study abroad. Results showed that students who studied abroad outperformed the two groups of students who did not study abroad on both the general and culture specific measures of creative thinking. Findings from this study provide evidence that studying abroad supports complex cognitive processes that underlie creative thinking in culture specific and domain general settings.

American Identity in Study Abroad Students: Contrasts, Changes, Correlates
Journal of College Student Development. Volume 52, Number 3, May-June 2011

This article focuses on the students’ social identification as American. An important aspect of study abroad students’ social identification is rooted in how they define themselves with regard to their sense of belonging to and preference for the country from which they embark on their study abroad. National identity (in the case of this study, American identity) has implications both for student well-being and their potential ability to adjust to a foreign culture.

Gender Observations and Study Abroad: How Students Reconcile Cross-Cultural Differences Related to Gender
Originally from Journal of College Student Development, Volume 49, No. 4 (July/August 2008)

Although there are many important areas in which to conduct research regarding how students’ cultural assumptions and identities inform their cross-cultural understanding, for the purpose of this study the focus is on examining assumptions related to gender.

Cultural Borders and Mental Barriers: The Relationship between Living Abroad and Creativity
This paper appeared in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (May 2009) and describes five studies done by Adam Galinsky and his research partners "employing a multi-method approach to systematically explore the link between living abroad and creativity. The relationship between living abroad and creativity was consistent across a number of creativity measures (including those measuring insight, association, and generation), both in the United States and Europe, demonstrating the robustness of this phenomenon."

College-Bound Students' Interests in Study Abroad and Other International Learning Activities
American Council on Education, February 2008

“Despite global terrorism and other tumultuous international events, college-bound high school students' interest in study abroad and other international learning experiences while in college is strong, according to a recent study conducted by the American Council on Education (ACE), Art & Science Group, and the College Board.”

No Borders: Beyond the Nation-State
This essay about placing America 's past in a Global context is adapted from A Nation Among Nations: America 's Place in World History , published by Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Copyright © 2006 by Thomas Bender.  The author is a professor of history and university professor of the humanities at New York University.

On the Backs of Turtles
International Educator, Summer 2004
Meta-curriculum in study abroad and the fostering of an intentional learner.

Retention & Academic Success Data

Examples of data – all reflecting similar outcomes - on the positive effects of students integrating a study abroad experience into their the undergraduate curriculum.

Go abroad and graduate on-time: Study abroad participation, degree completion, and time-to-degree.
Doctoral Dissertation: University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Hamir, H. B. (2011)
  • Of the 2002 University of Texas-Austin freshman cohort, 60% of study abroad participants graduated in four years, compared to 45% of non-participants.
  • Graduation rates were also 20% higher among participants five and six years after admission.
The GLOSSARI Project: Documenting the academic impact of study abroad
Sutton, R. C., & Rubin, D. L. (2010)
"The University of Georgia System implemented the Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative (GLOSSARI). The GLOSSARI methodology avoids inflating the impact of study abroad on graduation rates by only comparing students who have persisted to the same stages of their college careers." Key findings:
  • Students who studied abroad had a 17.8% higher 4-year graduation rate.
  • Students of color who studied abroad had a 17.9% higher 4-year graduation rate.
  • African-American students who studied abroad had a 31.2% higher four-year graduation rate.
  • African-Americans who studied abroad had 6-year graduation rates roughly the same as white students who studied abroad (84.4% vs. 88.6%).
Overseas Study at Indiana University: Plans, participation, and outcomes
Indiana University Press 2009
"This report utilizes data from seven cohorts (2001-2007) of beginning students at Indiana University Bloomington to examine students' plans to participate in study abroad, their actual participation in overseas study courses during college, and the impact of their participation in overseas study on a number of academic and developmental outcomes." Findings include:
  • Students who participate in one or more overseas study courses by the end of their fourth year of college have significantly higher cumulative grade point averages than non-participants, even after accounting for prior academic achievement and college major.
  • Compared to their peers, students who participate in one or more overseas study courses by the end of their fourth year of college have a greater likelihood of graduating within four years, even after accounting for prior academic achievement and college major.
Study Abroad and Time to Graduation; University of California, San Diego
"UC San Diego studied the Fall 2002 freshman cohort from the university's EAP (Education Abroad Program) and OAP (Opportunities Abroad Program) to determine if study abroad had an impact on retention, graduation, and time to degree."
  • "Students who studied abroad were retained at a higher rate than their counterparts who did not and graduated at four, five, and six years at a rate higher than those did not participate in study abroad.
  • This favorable effect held generally constant across gender, ethnicity, major field of study, status as first or second generation college student, parental income, predicted first year GPA, SATI composite range, high school GPA and high school quintile, and first quarter UCSD GPA.
  • While the margin of difference varies among these variables, the direction of influence is consistent:
    students who study abroad do better than students who do not."
Beyond immediate impact: Study abroad for global engagement
A University of Minnesota report. (2009). Key findings:
  • Of the Fall 1999 and Fall 2000 freshmen, over 85% of those who studied abroad graduated in five years, compared to only about 50% of those who did not study abroad.
  • Of Fall 2003 freshmen, 64.5% of those who studied abroad graduated by their 4th year, compared to 41.0% among non-study abroad students.
  • 33.3% of this cohort dropped out by the 4th year compared to only 6.0% of those who studied abroad.

Assessment

How is a study abroad experience assessed? What are the positive, neutral, and/or negative outcomes? What tools are used and how effective are they?

Rethinking the Bottom Line for Internationalization: What Are Students Learning?
Chronicle of Higher Education article (March 21, 2013)

For many, if not most, institutions, “success” in internationalization is a bit of a numbers game. It is defined by the number of students going abroad, the number of international students and the amount of revenue they generate, and the number of campuses abroad or courses offered with an international focus.
But what do these numbers mean for student learning?  Thus, the key question for higher-education institutions is how the overwhelming majority of students who do not go abroad will learn about the world and develop the intercultural skills they will need as citizens and workers. To address this question, institutions will need to be very clear about what knowledge, attitude, and skills students must learn, where and how they will acquire them, and what constitutes evidence of such learning.

The Georgetown Consortium Project: Interventions for Student Learning Abroad (2009)
Georgetown University's Office of International Programs, together with partner institutions, designed a large-scale, multi-year study of U.S. student learning abroad with three primary goals in mind. At the most basic level, the study aimed to document target language, intercultural, and disciplinary learning of U.S. students who enrolled in many types of study abroad programs and to compare their learning to that of control group stu¬dents at several U.S. campuses. At another and more complex level, the study also sought to identify the extent to which a relationship existed between student learning, specific program components (e.g., duration of program, type of housing) and learner characteristics (e.g., gender, prior study abroad experience, the amount of tar¬get language completed prior to departure).

Assessing Progress in Global Learning and Development of Students with Education Abroad Experiences
The 2009 research reported here is based on the research question: Do students enrolled and engaged in education abroad express changes and growth in their self reports of their global learning and development? More specifically, do stu¬dents change their self reports on cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal domains of global learning and development from the beginning to the end of their semester-long education abroad? In what domains are the influences of education abroad most and least evident?

Students’ Self-Reported Changes in Intercultural Knowledge and Competence Associated with Three Undergraduate Science Experiences
To assess the value of an international research experience for under¬graduates this 2009 research report examined the impact of two international programs on their respective participants and compared these to the gains achieved by students participating in research on their home campus. This study is guided by four questions:

  • What were the primary motivators for students to participate in the summer programs included in this study? What disciplinary gains did students report?
  • What personal gains did students report?
  • What changes in students' cultural awareness are associated with participation?

Career Readiness & the Global Marketplace

What are the career advantages to studying abroad and the national and/or global benefits of student mobility?

Educating Students for Success in the Global Economy: A Public Opinion Survey on the Importance of International Education
In November 2010, on the eve of the midterm elections, a NAFSA-commissioned survey polled a broad cross-section of Americans on their views about the value of international education—particularly the issues of foreign language learning, study abroad, and the recruitment of talent to fuel excellence in higher education. By strong margins, Americans were clear: international education is critically important. Without it, the graduates of the future will be at a disadvantage in their careers and will find themselves lacking the skills to thrive in the global workplace.

Study Abroad and Career Paths of Business Students
Frontiers. Fall 2008
"Business graduates are no longer competing with just the 450,000 other American business graduates each year, or even with the approximately two million American university graduates each year, but they are now competing with millions of graduates worldwide. Business students not only need to gain international experience, they also need to effectively market these experiences to potential employers." The key questions researched in this study include:
  • Were alumni career interests, plans, and job searches affected by studying abroad in college?
  • Was alumni career preparation and development affected by studying abroad in college?
  • Did study abroad alumni use their undergraduate international experience during the job search process?
Current Trends in U.S. Study Abroad & the Impact of Strategic Diversity Initiatives
"This May 2007 IIE White Paper represents the first of the Institute's new policy research series on Meeting America's Global Education Challenge. It assesses current trends in study abroad in the United States, …. and includes an analysis of existing strategic funding initiatives such as the Gilman, Boren and Freeman-ASIA Scholarships, showing how resource allocation can influence the diversity of participants, geographic destinations, field of study and length of study."

Impact of Education Abroad on Career Development
American Institute for Foreign Study, 2007
"An exceptionally diverse group of international educators ... discuss the impact of education abroad on student career development and go beyond their intuitive belief that study abroad helps a students' job search and point out what specific transferable skills a student gains from an overseas experience. Language competency and specific business skills gained at an internship abroad are some examples, but there are others.
  • How do we guide the student in presenting the intangible or "soft" benefits to future employers?
  • How do we get American businesses to recognize these skills and thus begin to look for students with study abroad experience?"
American Public: International Education is Key to Preparing Next Generation
This survey (2006) identifies resounding support for educational exchanges, study abroad, and foreign language learning. Key findings:
  • 90% believe it is 'important' or 'very important' to prepare future generations of Americans for a global society;
  • 92% agree that knowledge of other languages will give future generations a competitive advantage in career opportunities;
  • 77% feel it is important for future generations to participate in study abroad programs in college;
  • 86% believe it is important for their children and grandchildren to attend a college where they can interact with and get to know students from other countries;
  • 94% feel it is important for future generations to have knowledge of other countries and cultures.

Educating Students for Success in the Global Economy: A Public Opinion Survey on the Importance of International Education
This 2006 report from the Committee for Economic Development (CED) asserts that the lack of Americans educated in foreign languages and cultures is hampering efforts to counter terrorist threats, and warns the United States will become less competitive in the global economy because of a shortage of strong foreign language and international studies programs.

Are Young Americans Unprepared for the Global Future?
The National Geographic Society and Roper Public Affairs have released their 2006 report assessing the geographic literacy of American young adults. This report reveals a serious lack of geographic knowledge among Americans between the ages of 18 and 24. Moreover, it concludes that this lack of knowledge will leave America unprepared for an increasingly global future.

World News

One of the best ways to stay informed about local events is to read local newspapers. Reading a range of materials strengthens our capabilities for stronger and well informed perspectives on the issues of the day. It is also an important activity in preparing for time abroad.

The links below are preliminary choices. For a more comprehensive list - and one which includes publications in local languages - go to http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/

Make http://studyabroad.uic.edu your home page and keep up with local, national, and international news.

North America

The Chicago Sun-Times http://www.suntimes.com/index/
The Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/
The Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/
The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/
The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/public/us/
The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/
The Toronto Globe and Mail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Middle East & West Asia

Al-Ahram Weekly (Cairo) http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/index.htm
Al Jazeera (Doha) http://english.aljazeera.net/HomePage
Daily Star (Beirut) http://www.dailystar.com.lb/#axzz1sJqrcBu8
Dawn (Karachi) http://www.dawn.com
Jerusalem Post (Jerusalem) http://www.jpost.com/
Jordan Times (Amman) http://www.jordantimes.com
Tehran Times (Tehran) http://www.tehrantimes.com/
Turkish Daily News (Ankara) http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/

Asia

India Abroad http://indiaabroad.com/
The Bangkok Post http://www.bangkokpost.net/
The China Daily(Beijing) http://www.chinadaily.com.cn
The Japan Times http://www.japantimes.co.jp/
The South China Morning Post(Hong Kong) http://www.scmp.com/
The Straits Times (Singapore) http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg
The Taipei Times http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/
The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
The UB Post (Mongolia) http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/

Pacific

Pacific Islands Report http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/
The Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/

Latin America

The Buenos Aires Herald http://www.buenosairesherald.com/

United Kingdom

The Economist http://www.economist.com/
The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/
The International Herald Tribune http://www.iht.com/pages/index.php
The Times (London) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/

 

 

 

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