“Top Concerns” of Institutional Members of Forum on Education Abroad in 2017 “Survey of the Field” (…and mine)

Here is the survey: https://forumea.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ForumEA-State-of-the-Field-18-web-version.pdf

What I found of interest – and much concern- was the finding that only 17% of respondents are “very concerned” about career integration; and 25% are, in fact, “neutral” about this as a concern.  I’m not sure what the meaning of neutral might be, however, it obviously could mean that this cohort of  respondents has no opinion. That’s disconcerting to me.

For over a decade, I’ve been advocating and presenting the case for greater “integration” of advising services for students going abroad. So have many other colleagues, including the staff of the University of Minnesota Center for Learning Abroad, who, along with CAPA, have sponsored two Career Integration Conferences bringing together staffs and leaders of study abroad offices and those from career services.  They’ve placed a lot of excellent resources on this topic at: https://umabroad.umn.edu/professionals/career-int/resources

Similarly, I was surprised to also read that only 32% of respondents were “very concerned” about curriculum integration.  I’m not sure why an academic institution that sends students to study abroad (or to hold international internships or perform service-learning) would not be concerned about how such experiences are integrated with a students’ curricular requirements.

And lastly, there was the finding that the top two things which have the greatest impact on efforts to increase the number of students who study abroad are – financial aid & marketing.  No surprise.  But, I was surprised to learn that “documenting the impact of education abroad to make the case for internationalization” had a LOW impact.  I’d have imagined that making this case would be a very high priority for senior administrators and for faculty.

And so it goes (thanks Kurt Vonegaut)…

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