IIE Networker - Fall 2006 - (Page 22)

Feature Destination India Opportunities and Challenges for Expanding Study Abroad in a Nontraditional Location By Girish Kaul, Jenika Kaul, and Jane Schukoske One student recently said it best: “India is so in right now!” Global investors are eyeing India’s markets. The Bush administration is courting India with a deal on nuclear technology and is supporting India’s Agricultural Knowledge Initiative. Hindi is among the critical languages which the U.S. government encourages Americans to study. Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai are frequent stops for U.S. university presidents as they pursue partnerships with Indian institutions. Bhangra music and Bollywood movies are making their way into American clubs and cinemas. Even walking into the Gap or Payless Shoe Source, one finds kurta shirts and juti shoes adorned with Indian color and sparkle. This trend is reflected in the field of study abroad as well: according to the 2005 Open Doors report, the number of U.S. students choosing to go to India increased by 65 percent from 2002-03 to 2003-04. While this increase is encouraging, the number itself is still strikingly small (1,157) especially when compared with the number of Indian students who study in the United States (80,466 in 2004-05). The number is equally striking in comparison to the number of U.S. students who studied in other “nontraditional” study abroad destinations such as China (4,737), South Africa (2,009) and Brazil (1,444). At the very least, it shows that there are too few Americans with firsthand knowledge of the second most populous countr y and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. This article will discuss the field of study abroad in India by considering the following questions: 1. What does India offer to U.S. students? 2. What are the challenges to expanding study abroad in India? 3. What can we learn from the Indian experience about study abroad in nontraditional locations? Student from the South India Term Abroad (SITA) program buys vegetables at a local market in Madurai. What India Offers India, a growing, multicultural, multireligious, secular democracy, offers knowledge, sites, experts and perspectives for students in many fields. India has the second largest growing economy after China and is generating interesting insights to business and management studies about globalization. With a population of over one billion and a location in a strategically important region, India is increasingly recognized as a global power. India’s higher education system is one of the largest in the world, including some of the premier institutions in management and technology. Studies in subjects such as economic development, political science, agricultural economics, public health and international security prove to be as intriguing as the more traditional study abroad fields of religion, culture and history. Language and communication difficulties are few for U.S. students as English is widely spoken and is often the only language of communication between different regional and ethnic groups. Higher education is generally conducted in English, and English-language resources are readily available at universities. Perhaps the best way to describe what India offers to U.S. students is to tour some of the programs: • In Jaipur, Rajasthan, students on the Minnesota Studies in International Development program get hands-on experience in international development through site visits to local NGOs, home stays, and a month-long internship. • Engineering and computer science students at Purdue University can take advantage of India’s vast resources in these fields through study at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and the Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2006

IIE Networker - Fall 2006
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Leading the Way Toward True Global Engagement: A Challenge to American Colleges and Universities
The Lincoln Commission and the Future of Study Abroad
Destination India: Opportunities and Challenges for Expanding Study Abroad in a Nontraditional Location
Heritage-Seeking and Study Abroad: A Case Study
State Department Resources
Short-Term Programming
Community College
GLBT Issues
Branch Campus
Central and Eastern Europe
Freshmen Study Abroad
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2006