The New York Times is running an engaging discussion about the value of study abroad programs, asking whether a year abroad is worth the cost. As the cost of education continues to increase and colleges and universities are under increasing pressure to cut the time to degree, the value of international experience is increasingly called into question.
On one side, study abroad is a powerful tool for personal development, pushing students outside their comfort zone and giving them an opportunity to experience life in another culture and to develop proficiency in another language. At the same time, as the cost of higher education continues to increase, students have to balance the cost of study abroad against the broader financial obligations of their degrees.
What do you think? Should study abroad be a central part of an undergraduate degree? Should every American student commit to study abroad? Or does the expense of such programs outweigh their benefits? Take the poll or leave a comment and let us know what you think.