Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

A Global Education Opens Doors, but Leaves Many Shut Out (NAFSA 2015 Conference)

“Employers say that international experience matters in hiring decisions. Chief executives fret that today’s graduates lack the skills to succeed in a global economy. Even the U.S. secretary of education, Arne Duncan, in recorded remarks to the annual conference here this week of Nafsa: Association of International Educators, called global education a must-have. “In the 21st century,” Mr. Duncan said, “a quality education is an international education.” For all the talk, you might be tempted to think that every American graduates from college with a diploma and a well-stamped passport. The reality is far different. Study-abroad participation remains persistently low; less than 10 percent of all undergraduates go overseas. The rates are even lower among the students who increasingly populate the country’s college classrooms — black and Hispanic students, and those who are the first in their families to go to college.”

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Languages do matter!


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