International Educator - March/April 2012 - 42

Degrees of Distinction
Those who tend to go abroad for their entire education often have ties to the country as well as the means to go abroad. “There are also the factors of idealism and pragmatism. Students possess these in different proportions. For the predominantly pragmatic student, the issue is grad school admission and/or a job. These students are more risk-averse and studying abroad all four years would be seen as a risk. The student has to be adventurous in more than just imagination, and the parents have to be willing to let them be adventurous,” he says. Deterrents to education abroad include name recognition and language proficiency. “Name recognition is so important with families that they are often reluctant to consider a college in the U.S. they haven’t heard of, never mind one in another country,” MacGowan says. “Some students (also) haven’t considered the fact that unless they are fluent—reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college level—in another language, they have to go to an English-speaking country or a college in a non-Englishspeaking country where the instruction is in English,” he adds. He says there is a tendency to assume that because you haven’t heard of an institution before, the quality of education is somehow lacking. “The problem you’ve got is that there are a lot of unknown foreign schools. You tend to think that because you don’t know them, they’re not as good. But I’ve found the opposite and they tend to specialize in something. I’m prepared to find out about them, but I think most employers would not,” he explains. Sagel says he does pay attention to institutional rankings, but it isn’t as important as characteristics such as critical thinking. “Rankings are important, but not as important as the individual,” he says. However, many recent graduates of foreign institutions have had difficulties finding employment once they return home—but they stress that this has more to do with the current economy than it does their foreign education. Smith took advantage of his three-year Canadian work permit to return to Vancouver when he was unable to find a job in the United States. His social ties to Vancouver coupled with relatively better job prospects in Canada cemented his decision to return. “Though the recession certainly has been felt in Canada, my peers there seem to have had an easier time finding employment postgraduation than my peers south of the border,” he says. Michelle Bolourchi is also considering going abroad again due to dire employment prospects in the United States. She recently completed a joint two-year MA in global studies through the University of Freiburg, the University of Cape Town, and three other institutions in Argentina, Thailand, and India. She returned to the United States in 2009 and has been unable to find full-time employment. “More than anything, it’s the U.S. economy that has impacted my career here. The reality of the recession here hit me like a slap in the face. I have decided that if I stay in the States, I will be going nowhere, fast. Since my networks and connections are abroad (the only real drawback to a foreign degree in the States), I will be joining the growing number of international workers,” she says. Smith also says the lack of local networks is another factor that might have hurt his employment prospects in the United States, but the international dimension nevertheless made his resume jump out of the pile. “On the one hand, many entry-level jobs in the U.S. are directly tied to regional alumni networks, which can be disadvantageous to those who studied abroad. This said, I found many employers I spoke with to be intrigued by my international experience and degree...in many ways it was something that made me stand out,” he says. IE
CHARLOTTE WEST is a freelance writer in Seattle, Washington. Her last article for IE was “A 360° View” published in the international enrollment management and recruitment supplement with the September/ October 2011 issue.

Returning Home
So what happens when Americans who pursue their degrees abroad return home and enter the labor market? In general, the consensus is that a degree from abroad doesn’t usually hurt a prospective employee’s chances. Employers evaluate the degree based on the institution where the candidate studied. As Jens Locher, manager of web strategy and student recruitment initiatives at UBC, puts it, “The value of the degree has less to do with the country it is from than the stature of the specific university itself.” Scarborough agrees, adding that the specific course of study is also important. She was a consultant on a recent British Council survey on North American employers’ perceptions of UK degrees (see “The Value of a UK Degree”, p. 37). One of the study’s main findings confirms the general acceptance of an international degree. “It doesn’t matter where you have gone to university. What’s more important is that ‘what you have studied’ is relevant to the job you are applying for,” Scarborough says. Fred Sagel, an Ontario-based lawyer, interviewed many candidates with foreign degrees when he was a partner at two major law firms in Toronto. “When I saw a foreign degree, I thought that was interesting. Someone who would leave the country to pursue an education has something going for them. They have a sense of adventure, which is also something you want to have in business,” he says. “The easiest thing to do is to go the university next door. [Going abroad] shows you have more imagination, are more intellectually curious, are more far reaching and that translates well into the workplace.”

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INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R + A P R . 12



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2012

International Educator - March/April 2012
Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Voices: University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi
Overcoming Chaos
Degrees of Distinction
Macalester College
Foreign Student Affairs
A View from Out Here
In Focus
Language Supplement
The language of Business
Launching Pad: Community College Programs
Intensive English Language Directory
Intensive Foreign Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - International Educator - March/April 2012
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Contents
International Educator - March/April 2012 - From the Editors
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 8
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 9
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 10
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 12
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 13
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Voices: University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 18
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Overcoming Chaos
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 24
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 28
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Degrees of Distinction
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 38
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 39
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 40
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 42
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 44
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Macalester College
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 47
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 48
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 49
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 50
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 51
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 52
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 53
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 54
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 55
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 57
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 58
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 59
International Educator - March/April 2012 - A View from Out Here
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 61
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 62
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 63
International Educator - March/April 2012 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover4
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Language Supplement
International Educator - March/April 2012 - BB2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover1
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - The language of Business
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S4
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S5
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S6
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S7
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S8
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Launching Pad: Community College Programs
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S10
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S11
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S12
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S13
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Intensive English Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S15
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S16
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S17
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Intensive Foreign Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S19
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S20
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover4
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