21 Feb 2008

Do-it-yourself global education

Maya Frost has put together an interesting

21 Feb 2008

Maya Frost has put together an interesting blog to help promote ideas she’s assembling for a book: The world is your campus: How to skip the SAT, save thousands on tuition, and get an outrageously relevant global education. Her take is that people need to balance education with creative life experiences. Why learn about the world in a classroom when there’s a world to explore nearby? Here comes do-it-yourself education!

A few interesting, recent posts:

Since I work in a department that trains study abroad advisors, here’s my question for the day:  In a Web 2.0 world of knowledge sharing, do students and youth need study abroad advisors?  Or, is there a better solution?

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  1. Maya Frost February 21st, 2008 4:06PM

    Thanks for the nod!

    To answer your question, first of all I would say that most colleges do not provide study abroad advisors who have actually spent several months in the countries in which students are planning to study. Many colleges simply outsource the process and reps from the provider may show up on campus for a quick meeting, but most don’t really offer a great deal of what would be considered counseling.

    And you’re right–in a connected world, why would students need an adult advisor to tell them about what to expect when they go abroad? They can read blogs written TODAY by students in the very same place they’ll be heading. They can connect directly with those who are there, those who’ve just returned, and those who are also preparing to leave.

    The question to ask is really this: What kind of valuable counseling are study abroad advisors offering? Are they helping students prepare their documents? Are they helping them re-enter the university and work out their transcript issues? Are they talking about what it’s like to spend a semester or a year abroad in that particular place and then come back to campus? Chances are that students who have just returned from that location are going to have more relevant to offer than someone who has been trained as a study abroad counselor.

    Once again, it comes down to relevance. In many cases, a study abroad advisor’s advice can be summed up in a five-page handout, and students are better off getting info directly from those who’ve been through the process and can offer tips from a student’s perspective.

    I’ll be addressing this in my book and sharing tips for connecting with students and locals directly instead of relying upon someone whose job it is to encourage study abroad. And as I’ve stated on my blog, in many cases, students can save thousands of dollars by simply handling a few details themselves instead of signing up through a program that is sponsored by their university.