Note:This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:The Study Abroad Community at UIUC: Negotiating the Complexities of Doubling Numbers and Fostering Global Citizenship
Author(s):Anth411 07-9
Subject(s):study abroad
global citizenship
strategic plan
Abstract:In 2005, the U.S. Lincoln Commission Report set the target of sending one million U.S. students abroad annually in a decade. The same year, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) set the goal of doubling the percentage of students going abroad from 22% to 40% within five years. At stake is the prestige of the University of Illinois as a national and world leader among other universities of its kind. UIUC is currently #5 in study abroad among the top forty doctoral/research institutions. However, upper administrators are aiming for #1. During this period of heightened institutional priority placed on increasing numbers of undergraduate study abroad participation without sacrificing quality and helping preparing students to be global leaders with intercultural and language skills, study abroad campus agents (administrators, staff, and international educators) are dealing with the implications and meanings of such goals. For my pilot research fall semester 2007 I observed administrative activities related to study abroad and interviewed key study abroad agents. I analyze how the study abroad community at UIUC is dealing with various issues like the tension between quality and quantity, the meaning of global citizenship, the rise in short term programs, and student diversity along the lines of gender and race. I find they do not reproduce the problematic assumptions I identify in official study abroad discourse as found on the Study Abroad Office website but instead provide a more nuanced picture of the complexities of study abroad. My proposed research for the future will involve extensive in-depth student interviews to illuminate the gender and racial/ethnic dynamics of study abroad, which I have found to be silenced in dominant discourse on study abroad and poorly understood among study abroad administrators.
Issue Date:2008-02-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-02-15

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Globalization and the University
    This collection examines the influence of globalization on the university and the university's place in a burgeoning world market for higher education.

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