President's Blog

Few American students study abroad. Many more should

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 7.29.21 PMMore than 40% of first-year undergraduate students in America say they intend to study abroad.  By the time they are done with school though, fewer than 10% have.

I recently heard a computer science student at Mason say that studying abroad would interfere with his major and hurt his ability to get his dream job.  But dream employers are increasingly looking for globally-minded talent of the kind that can only be developed by literally getting out of one’s comfort zone.  Apple and Google do more business outside the U.S. than they do at home.  And less than 20% of Facebook users are in the U.S. or Canada. You can imagine the kind of individual that will move up the ladder in these companies.

In a recent piece in IIE Networker, a publication of the Institute of International Education (best known for running the Fulbright scholarships on behalf of the U.S. Department of State), I discuss the barriers to study abroad and lay out some potential areas of opportunity at Mason and other universities.