What is International Education?
The term "international education" includes all educational initiatives that aim to build intercultural competency, knowledge of the international community and a sense of global citizenship amongst students and education professionals.
Some well-known initiatives that promote international education are student exchanges, teacher exchanges, school twinning’s and second language learning programs. However, the term broadly refers to any initiatives that promote:
• cross-cultural dialogue
• second language learning (at home or abroad)
• exposure to and discussion of international issues
• informed and responsible global citizenship and active involvement in international issues
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to international education including learning a new language which is a desirable quality that many employers look for and it also allows students and teachers alike to experience different work environments not typical to western cultures. Above all, the benefits of international education initiatives go beyond the personal growth and skills obtained by individual participants. These initiatives also have positive cultural, political, academic and economic impacts on our society.
• Cultural - By learning about different cultures and languages, Albertans not only develop a better sense of cultural understanding, they also gain greater insight into their own culture and way of life.
• Political - Alberta's and Canada's ability to engage effectively with the international community and exert positive influence in world affairs requires knowledge about the culture, conditions and aspirations of citizens in other countries.
• Academic - School-based international education initiatives expose students to social and cultural differences, new educational methods and systems, and unique global perspectives. They also allow students that are studying a second or third language to interact with native speakers.
• Economic - International education initiatives are critical in today's economy. They contribute to the development of an internationally and intercultural competent labour force within Alberta. In addition, the cross-border relationships that are formed during a student exchange, for instance, are sometimes lifelong relationships that may become the foundation of future economic transactions or business collaborations
What schools offer an international education option?
There are many schools that offer international education degrees where students can learn abroad in a variety of different specializations from international business to biology or anthropology. Ensure you do significant research prior to enrolling so that you know the school you want to attend has not only an international education program but also offers that program in a country you wish to study in.
What are some sample international education program degrees?
Below is a list of different programs that will have an international education degree option.
• International Business
• Second Language Teaching
• World History
• Language Arts (Spanish, French, Mandarin)