Expanding Education Abroad in the Arab World

March 20, 2009

The Institute of International Education on Thursday released a paper on "Expanding Study Abroad in the Arab World: Challenges and Opportunities." The paper notes great enthusiasm for the endeavor, among Arab and U.S. educators alike, but also a number of challenges. Among the challenges are: issues of credit and academic standards -- many U.S. colleges, the paper notes, will only grant credit for a few study abroad programs in the region, "those that they directly manage or are closely affiliated with other U.S. institutions"; pervasive concerns about safety and security; and a lack of resources on the part of Arab universities to develop or expand programs for international students. The report includes a number of recommendations, including inventorying all institutions in the region, awarding study abroad scholarships for U.S. students to attend any institution in the region, and organizing U.S. campus study tours for under-represented institutions in the Arab world. The report, released during IIE's annual conference on “Best Practices in Internationalizing the Campus" in New York, is available free online.

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