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Dr. Angi Yucas

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Are Study Abroad Programs Really "Innovative"?

Aug 14, 2013 9:24:44 AM / by Dr. Angi Yucas

CAPA International Education's Vice President of Academic Relations Dr. Angi Yucas takes the reins on Dr. Michael Woolf's “Thoughts on Education Abroad” column this month.

Below she discusses the concept of innovation in international education and asks us to think twice about what truly makes a study abroad program innovative.


With 25+ years of experience working with U.S. undergraduates in the field of education abroad, there isn't much that impresses me anymore. I find the many current claims about study abroad programs as “innovative” both wearisome and worrisome. If so many innovations are actually in existence, then why aren't we seeing aspects of programs that look different, sound different, attract different students, etc.? It is ironic that our professional field solicits innovation and awards it with various recognitions, but then shares the goods with anyone who shows up at a session or workshop at one of our professional conferences. Or, if conference attendance isn't possible, then an inquiry to whoever is connected to the innovation will yield the entire scoop just for the asking. And if everyone is doing it, is it innovative or has it now become the standard?

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Posted in: International Education


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