A study abroad experience – be it for a few weeks or a year – can provide a first-hand opportunity to see how people in other parts of the world live from day to day, and the kinds of challenges they may face in their countries or regions. Living in an unfamiliar society can heighten one’s awareness of other cultures. It can also provide an opportunity to gain important skills in communicating and working with others, which can be valuable in future personal and professional roles. Study abroad is primarily available at the high school, college and university levels.
Educators, policymakers and students have long recognized the importance of international study in developing new skills and perspectives, which can, in turn, advance peacebuilding skills and goals. Learn more about how the study abroad movement started in the United States, what it looks like today and some of the important American public, cultural and political leaders who have studied abroad.
A former USIP staff member explains the connection between the traits and skills that are developed by education abroad experiences and the ones on which USIP staff draws to build peace.
These testimonials are drawn from former and current USIP staff members who reflected upon their education abroad experiences; they illustrate some of the lessons that have stayed with them to this day.