IIE Network - Spring 2014 - (Page 31)

FEATURE: THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION Advocating the Value of Experiential Learning in the Age of Globalization By Angela Shaeffer and Katja Kurz "GLOBALIZATION" IS ONE of the most contested terms in research, as there is no single definition. In common parlance, the term refers to the phenomenon of an increasingly integrated global economy characterized by free trade, free flow of capital, and mass migration. Most definitions share a focus on the growing interconnectedness that surpasses national frontiers, creating "a world without borders" or "a world of flows" (Appadurai 2000, 5). While many theorists have focused on the economic, sociopolitical, and technological aspects of globalization, illuminating the intricate cultural and educational dimensions that shape our globalized world is equally important, though it is sometimes overlooked. The "globalization of knowledge" (Appadurai 2000, 13) and the internationalization of higher education have recently come into the spotlight and grabbed the attention of scholars in global education. The primary focus has been the question of how to transform U.S. higher education institutions both to be more inclusive and accepting of international students on one hand, and to provide U.S. graduates with the skills to succeed in a global marketplace (primarily through international study) on the other. "Higher education," as Joel Spring observes, "has become a globalized enterprise" (Spring 2009, 100). While many universities and colleges within the United States receive a constant influx of international students on their campuses, many struggle to send an equally large number of their students abroad. International educators have advocated the value of the international experience abroad, with the result that many degree courses now offer more opportunities-as well as funding-for U.S. students to study abroad. However, experiential education is still undervalued in the larger discourse on international education. In recent years, "education abroad" as a term has come to include not only study abroad, but also international experiential education opportunities. NAFSA formed the Subcommittee on Work, Internship, and Volunteer Abroad (WIVA) whose purpose is to address "the greater need to connect the international experience to students' future careers." Organizations such as the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) have made special invitations to the education abroad community to join conferences and events that contextualize study abroad as experiential education. Some authors of articles in Expanding Study Abroad Capacity at U.S. Colleges and Universities, part of IIE's Study Abroad White Paper Series, include internships in their definitions of "study abroad" (Heisel and Stableski 2009, 28), and the Forum for Education Abroad recognizes "field study programs" as a study abroad program type. Still, the international education community continues to espouse the values of traditional study abroad programs and struggles to acknowledge international internships as equally valuable, formative learning experiences for several reasons, two of which we discuss. Given the demands of a globalized market economy, having a highly skilled, globally competent workforce that possesses a "global cultural consciousness" (Kumaravadivelu 2008, 164) carries great value. Working in an international setting abroad provides U.S. students with the professional skill set necessary to identify and secure career prospects in difficult economic times. Several recent studies, including the QS Global Employer survey (EAIE 2012, 21), document the value employers place on hires with international experiences. In 2011, The Robert Bosch Foundation, a yearlong professional fellowship program administered by Cultural Vistas since 1984, conducted a survey designed to measure the long-term impact of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program's experience on fellows' career and leadership development. Of 220 program alumni participating in the survey (constituting 95 percent of all former Bosch fellows), 99 percent felt that their professional experiences abroad had influenced their career and leadership development The road to successful advocacy begins with building partnerships and acknowledging stakeholders. after returning to United States. In retrospect, 41 percent judged the impact of the Bosch Fellowship experience on their overall career development to be "crucial;" 38 percent assessed it as "important;" and 21 percent evaluated it as "helpful" (Adebahr 2011, 16). In the survey, alumni spoke to the increased professional global mobility they were afforded by participating in the program: It was the turning point for me in terms of moving to the next level in Finance in Europe. I became an expert on the German/Swiss market and was able to move from NY to London to Zurich based on this expertise. This gave me a significant advantage in terms of job experience. In addition, my familiarity with both the private and public financial institutions increased and to this day-I have a good relationship with the German institutions I met as a Bosch fellow. (Adebahr 2011, 16-17) Another respondent comments on the impact that the experience abroad had on later career development-one that speaks to the deepest levels and outcomes of crosscultural learning in a professional setting: Although my work in a San Francisco law firm had nothing to do with German law, it had all to do with judgment, sensitivity to cultural differences, and perspective-all well honed during the time in Germany. (Adebahr 2011, 17) So why have work abroad experiences not been accepted in U.S. universities and institutions? First, challenges exist in evaluating outcomes of internships and experiential 31

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Spring 2014

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
2014 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education
An Interview with Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Minister of Education and Research, Government of Norway
Introduction to the Globalization of International Education
Internationalization as Acquisitions, Mergers, and Synergy: A Value-Based Framework of Internationalization
Globalized Internationalization: Implications for Policy and Practice
Advocating the Value of Experiential Learning in the Age of Globalization
The Translocal Urban Nexus in International Education: Trinity College in China and Southeast Asia
Mission Apt: Evolving Strategies for Global Student Recruitment
Global Research Networks: Experiments in Internationalization
Two Models of Global Learning
Advertisers Index
Final Thought: Fostering Global Research Capacity Through Multilateral Partnerships: The Global Innovation Initiative

IIE Network - Spring 2014