As I was searching for my "Study Abroad Related Tweet of the Day" for an IHEC Blog Facebook Page post I came across the following tweet:
"Morning TwitterLand. Just back from a week long MBA studyabroad in Santiago, Chile"
In an effort to continue the field's debate on short-term study abroad programming I ask myself can one really study abroad for a week? There are those in the field that say "yes" and there those in the field that say "no".
This ties in to the my April 4th IHEC Blog post "The Study Abroad Credential" and discussion.
Can one study abroad for a day?
A few years ago while advising a student on his Fulbright application he asked if he should list Myanmar down as a list of countries he had visited even though he had been there only three hours. Fulbright applications are not really wanting applicants to list countries visited while on vacation (although there can be a significant learning component to vacations, no?) so this was a good discussion. If he asked me if he should list a three hour visit/travel through the Principality of Liechtenstein I would have told him no. But Myanmar is a bit different in my mind and spending three hours in the country would be quite an interesting/educational experience (and one that few others have experienced) so I told him to list Myanmar as a country visited.
Did the Fulbrighter actually study abroad in Myanmar? I don't think so. Did the Fulbrighter have a meaningful educational experience in Myanmar? I do think so.
Did the MBA student study abroad in Chile? Perhaps there were classroom lectures and discussions but I would not call it study abroad if I had participated on this week long program. Did the MBA student have an educational experience abroad in Chile? Absolutely!
Just some random thoughts I have on a Monday morning. What are your thoughts?
Photo credit: Chez Cåsver