By J. Michael Adams
Dear Friends in Teaneck,
Mark Twain wrote that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness.” For college students in particular, the impact of studying abroad is powerful. It not only teaches them to appreciate and learn about other cultures, it helps prepare them to succeed in different environments and interact with diverse individuals. These are critical lessons in our global economy. Perhaps most importantly, study abroad enables students to better appreciate their own culture and learn more about themselves in the process.
For these reasons, Fairleigh Dickinson University places great value on studying abroad. We offer a wide variety of short and longer-term opportunities that benefit hundreds of students each semester. From England to Australia, Brazil to Belize and South Korea to South Africa, FDU offers a gateway to the world.
Take, for example, our own campus in Wroxton, England. Set in the heart of rural England, Wroxton College is housed in a modernized 17th-century Jacobean mansion (once the home of Lord North, prime minister during the Revolutionary War). Students study under the British tutorial method and enjoy educational excursions to Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford and London, where they visit places like the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Houses of Parliament. We also have an international campus in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, where students can study during the regular terms or special summer sessions.
In addition, faculty regularly lead students on short-term study trips. For example, Gloria Pastorino guides Italian odysseys each summer and Gary Darden charts a path to Asia. Particular programs have study-abroad components built in. For instance, our International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management features a Global Seminar class in Switzerland. And, all students in our Global Scholars program study abroad.
FDU also has numerous affiliations with universities around the world that provide comprehensive programs taught in English. These include universities in China, Hungary, India, Israel, Monaco, Spain and many more.
Then there are special study-abroad programs for longer periods. Our Two Worlds program, for example, allows students to complete half of their degree program in another country such as the Dominican Republic, Spain or Korea. And our Freshman Year in Israel program enables high school graduates from the U.S. to complete their first year of study at Tel Aviv University or The Hebrew University of Jerusalem before returning to FDU to complete their degrees.
More colleges must emphasize study abroad. Despite the great benefits, only about 1 percent of all college students journey overseas. This isn’t good enough. We need to extend the learning environment to other countries and cultures, and we need students to navigate international pathways toward becoming global citizens. In the process, I’m confident they will emerge as global leaders.
J. Michael Adams has served as the president of FDU since 1999. For more information, see www.fdu.edu/studyabroad
In 2009, Fairleigh Dickinson University President J. Michael Adams began writing a column for the Teaneck Suburbanite that appears in its bi-monthly newsletter called "Teaneck Talk."
Please use the navigation links above to see other columns in the Teaneck Talk series.