American higher education institutions have an opportunity to reconceive it in ways that continue to make it a high-impact practice, writes Brian Whalen.
What will higher education abroad look like when the current public health crisis is over? Those of us who have weathered impacts caused by previous crises such as SARS and incidents of global terrorism remember the adjustments that institutions had to make. After Sept. 11 we practiced education abroad in a “Code Orange world,” as Patti McGill Peterson, former executive director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, once described it. But the current public health crisis is different and will leave lasting changes to the way that institutions think about and practice education abroad.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities have worked diligently and creatively to bring students back to the United States to complete their academic programs online. By collaborating closely with education abroad program providers and international university partners, institutions have adapted academic standards and practices to accommodate an unprecedented number of students whose spring and academic-year education abroad programs were cut short.