I have been wanting to post about a relatively recent (aired primarily January through March) AAA television commercial here in the U.S. that mentions study abroad and I'm now getting around to it as I wonder what IHEC Blog readers think.
In sum, the commercial is the voice of a father (Kirk) recounting his memories of his daughter Emma's life beginning at her wedding and working back through her life to her birth with the premise that AAA Insurance coverage was along with her every step of the way! Along this journey, Kirk expresses that he didn't know Emma would "spend a semester in Barcelona that she'd call [pause] School". The commercial is shot in freeze-frame and it shows Emma during her semester in Barcelona at School hiking in the mountains (presumably in the Pyrénées although the beauty of studying abroad is that she could be in the Alps).
My interpretation of both the audio and visual parts of this segment pertaining to Emma's academic time in Barcelona (5 seconds in length) suggest that study abroad (in Barcelona and beyond) by U.S. students is less than the rigorous academic experience we all know that it is...
In my view, this commercial perpetuates the view of study abroad as more of a vacation and less of an academic experience. What is you view on the commercial and what, if any, impact do you think it has on viewers?
As usual, just looking to stir thoughts and dialogue in the field!
Also, I'm well aware of the impact studying abroad had on my undergraduate GPA (you?)!