In December 2014, the US government held a conference to discuss its plan for encouraging students to study abroad. And to help spread the word, 100 travel bloggers were invited to the White House to learn more about this plan.
The event was called the White House Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship.
Both bloggers and students interested in studying abroad may be excited by this plan.
What’s the Government’s Plan?
The White House’s goal is to increase the number of students who travel and study abroad during college. But more specifically, the White House wants to encourage students to study abroad in non-European countries. Currently, about one-third of students who study abroad head to countries like Italy, Spain and the UK.
In addition, government officials hope to increase the appeal and accessibility of studying abroad among non-white students. Currently, approximately three-fourths of the students who study abroad are white.
With these goals in mind, the government held an online study abroad fair on February 25, 2015. The aim was to educate students on their options when it comes to traveling during school. At the same time, the government is counting on the bloggers who attended its conference to help urge students to go abroad.
Why Does the US Government Support Studying Abroad?
There are plenty of reasons for students to study abroad. Learning new language skills is a major benefit, but even students who go to other English speaking countries still reap study abroad rewards. If they have the urge to travel, for example, this is the perfect time to satisfy it.
What’s more, getting a global perspective is another study abroad benefit that can actually help in the post-college job search. That’s because many companies look for employees who understand more than one culture and have the ability to adapt well in new situations. This is especially true if they have offices or clients in other countries, since they will need someone who can relate to people outside the US.
Why Don’t More Students Study Overseas?
It remains to be seen whether this summit will increase the amount of students who study abroad. After all, the point of it is to improve their interest in this option, yet surveys show that around half of new college students claim they want to study abroad anyway. Only about 5 to 10 percent of those students actually go, though, which means interest is probably not the issue.
It’s more likely that the problem is finances, since travel can be expensive, especially when you’re a college student without a full-time job. Luckily, there are some study abroad financial aid options you can look into if you are considering this path.