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http://www.cnn.com/2003/EDUCATION/11/19/study.abroad.ap/ Task force calls for more study abroad 'America's ignorance of the world is now a national liability' Wednesday, November 19, 2003 Posted: 1:44 PM EST (1844 GMT) WASHINGTON (AP) -- Claiming America has a "serious deficit in global competence," an independent task force on Tuesday urged the government to increase the number of U.S. college students who learn foreign languages and study abroad. Researchers said Americans are disconnected from the rest of the world at a time when anti-American sentiments run high over the war in Iraq and the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. "Our country simply cannot afford to remain ignorant of the rest of the world. The stakes are simply too high," said former Education Secretary Richard Riley, honorary co-chairman of the Strategic Task Force on Education Abroad. September 11 was "a warning that America's ignorance of the world is now a national liability," said the report, compiled for the Association of International Educators, a private organization that promotes international education and exchange. The "stubborn monolingualism and ignorance of the world" that persists in the United States only feeds the confusion many Americans felt after September 11, it said. "We need to ask ourselves not only why they hate us, but why we did not know they hate us so much?" said Julia Chang Bloch, a former ambassador to Nepal. The task force urged Congress to set aside $3.5 billion a year to fund fellowships that would allow a half-million students to receive grants of up to $7,000 annually to earn college credit overseas. The goal is to have funding to support 5 million students by 2010, said former Illinois Sen. Paul Simon, an honorary co-chairman. Currently, about 130,000 of the nation's 13 million full-time and part-time undergraduate students participate in university-sponsored study abroad programs each year, the report said. By contrast, Simon said, 584,000 students from other countries studied at U.S. colleges and universities during the 2002-2003 academic year. Researchers suggested that lawmakers, educators and private businesses create a national program to ensure that every college graduate is proficient in at least one foreign language and studies at least one international subject. To help make programs more accessible to students of all backgrounds, the task force asked colleges to adjust degree requirements and fees for overseas study, so it is not seen as a program for privileged students. A record number of students -- 160,920 -- studied overseas for credit in the 2001-2002 school year, but 90 percent stayed for one semester or less. The group hopes to have 20 percent of undergraduate American college students, or 2.6 million, abroad by 2010, and 50 percent, or 6.5 million students, by 2040. More than half of all students who do study overseas go to Britain, Italy, Spain or France, the report said. To combat that, the program wants to encourage students to consider countries outside Western Europe, such as China and those in Africa. --------------------------------- The full report can be found at: http://www.nafsa.org/content/PublicPolicy/stf/STFEAreport.pdf __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard http://antispam.yahoo.com/whatsnewfree _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk