The term ‘study abroad’ started in the US and was developed from the “Junior Year Abroad” model for education during the earlier phase of the 21st century. While the trend initially started with long-term studies (or a full academic year), it has shifted to short-term studies abroad. Enrollments for study abroad programmes that last eight weeks or fewer have experienced a high growth rate – more than 250% in the last decade or so – according to data by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
The growing trend indicates that students are not willing to spend their time abroad trying to complete courses that last an entire academic year, which is forcing universities to reinvent their courses and also provide flexible study abroad courses. The old semester-long study, student exchange models and summer courses are no more popular among international students. Experts working in this area are making constant efforts to design courses where students make the most of their short stay, in addition to revising the course delivery, which is flexible enough for students to handle the pressure.
Universities abroad are now redesigning their course pedagogy to incorporate service learning and volunteer programmes as part of the course credits. Some institutes have introduced gap- year courses that help students to participate in a gap year set up by the university before enrolling into a college for higher studies; and some others have customized courses into a freshman abroad programme that accepts new international students for a short period. Data provided by IIE clearly shows that enrollments for the study abroad programmes have increased by 150% since the past decade. Since the need for such short-term courses has increased, most universities are supporting it by relying on separate structures of delivery, third-party educational partners or consortiums that support such programmes. More than 50% of the students in the US chose to go abroad via provider organizations.
These programmes are more favoured among the international students than American students as the clout associated with a short-stay course abroad is still weak and since it has evolved outside the scope of academic institutions; very little is understood of its value especially among the employers. The main motive of such courses is to experience different cultures and have a global exposure.
Countries like US, UK and China are developing as popular destinations for such courses with the US and UK governments looking to increase student mobility and encourage their students to study abroad.
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Students Opt for Short-Term Study Abroad
Posted on June 7, 2016