Celebrating International Education
This week we celebrated International Education Week (IEW). While international education should be celebrated every week, this week gave us a chance to focus on and recognize the benefits of international education, study abroad programs, and exchange experiences worldwide. Even so, you may still be wondering exactly why IEW is important.
Defining International Education
International education can be defined as programs established to help prepare students for a global environment. However, it is far more than just that. The idea and definition of international education have evolved over the years. For example, in an article published by Sarah Quain on American University’s website in 2018, Dr. Fanta Aw (School of International Service (SIS) Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer and American University Vice President of Campus Life) described international education by saying, “International education is about the mobility of students and scholars who go to another part of the world to study, research, or teach.”1 In addition, the article also noted that throughout history, individuals have sought education in other countries with the purpose to improve their lives, have meaningful contributions to their communities, and become better citizens in their home countries.
The Importance of International Education
NAFSA: Association of International Educators highlights the benefits of international education by including advanced learning and scholarships, developing a deeper understanding and respect between individuals of different backgrounds, and the development of constructive leadership within the international community. According to NAFSA, at its core, international education is a crucial aspect of cultivating “peace, security, and well-being” among nations.2
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo indicates that among other things, international education and study abroad programs are a means to expand student worldviews through immersing in different cultures. These programs can also help students with their prospective careers by providing necessary life experiences and personal connections.3
At EDU Africa, it is our mission to develop and facilitate Transformative Learning Journeys through our Faculty-led, Virtual Exchange, Service Learning, School, and Individual Study Abroad programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Our programs aim to encourage student growth in the following areas: Intercultural Competence, Global Citizenship, Personal Growth, Intellectual Growth, and Professional Development.
Find out more about our programs here: https://edu-africa.com/our-programs/
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Quain S. 2018, March 9. American University School of International Service News. What’s the importance of international education? [Web log post]. Available: https://www.american.edu/sis/news/20180306-whats-the-importance-of-international-education.cfm [2022, November 16].
About International Education [Online]. [n.d.]. Available: https://www.nafsa.org/about/about-international-education [2022, November 16].
Importance of International Education [Online]. [n.d.]. Available: https://hilo.hawaii.edu/studyabroad/importanceofinternationaleducation.php [2022, November 16].