I typically post a study abroad related tweet of the day on IHEC Blog's Facebook page and I find the most interesting and provocative tweets to come from the students themselves who are preparing to study abroad and those who are currently studying abroad or those who have recently returned from study abroad [there is some great qualitative data on study abroad out there on Twitter that is worth mining if you ask me!] As the autumn semester/quarter comes to an end I have seen an uptick in tweets about grades and grade point averages and my interpretation of all of these tweets is that the students feel study abroad is easy and provides a boost to their grade point average (GPA). Following are two such tweets that helped form my analysis:
"SERIOUSLY. Why do study abroad grades not count towards my GPA. 3 As and an A- sofar. 3.92 GPA. I would love that to count thanks. #fuckk"
"can't bring myself to study when i know i only need a 20% to pass the class #studyabroad #passfail"If I were to poll my study abroad colleagues here in the U.S. about the academic rigors of study abroad programming I anticipate an overwhelming consensus that high academic standards and expectations are well established across the field and that the majority of programs are not a GPA boost.
Conversely, if I were to poll current/recent study abroad students I anticipate an overwhelming consensus that #studyabroad is indeed a GPA boost.
What are your thoughts on this...and what's up with a course that requires 20% to pass?!?!?
For the record, study abroad was indeed a rather large GPA boost for me as I received some of the best grades in my college career while I "studied" in Valladolid, Spain. I'm not saying I didn't learn anything when I studied abroad. In fact, I learned more when I studied abroad than I did in any other semester during my college career...