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Bill seeks to push US students to study in non-traditional destinations

Determined to encourage more American students to study abroad in non-traditional destinations, two US Senators have recently introduced a bill to create the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Act of 2007. This Act would forge new public-private relationships to support the cultural and linguistic development of American students in a wider expanse of countries. Traditionally selecting European and Anglophone countries for their overseas study experience, few US students decide on the developing world and other countries that are crucial to US current foreign policy. Specifically, this bill would create and independent entity to administer a national study abroad programme. Its mandate would include the following:
  • diversify study abroad opportunities;
  • see that at least 1 million American students study abroad each year, in ten years;
  • encourage universities to address on-campus factors hindering study abroad participation;
  • increase the pool of direct study abroad scholarships.
This bill abuts the recent drive of the Lincoln Study Abroad Foundation Act and Scholarship Program, a Senate-passed resolution in 2006 to bolster the number of students completing a study period over sea and providing scholarships in accordance with the demographics of the undergraduate population. Though such a bill would bring a myriad of educational and personal growth benefits to US students, it is likely that the financial demands of current US foreign policy will impede the immediate progress with international education legislation. Information on the Lincoln Study Abroad Act
Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act