Government Factors Influencing an Expansion of Study Abroad in the Middle East/North Africa
Keywords:Government factors, Study abroad, Middle-East, Education abroad
Since the late 1950s, both the U.S. government and the general population have acknowledged an immediate need for a deepening of U.S. American knowledge of the people, languages, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Particularly in the fallout of the events of September 11, 2001, one means for U.S. undergraduates have expanded their understanding of this region has been through participation in Study Abroad (study abroad) programs. Despite the large amount of research on outcomes and educational approaches used in study abroad in general, there is little literature which addresses the relationship between national security concerns and study abroad in the MENA region. The purpose of this study is to examine the ways in which federal legislation has connected higher education to national security interests through provisions of federal funding for Area Studies and study abroad in less common destinations, and to discuss the influence of factors such as career motivations, scholarship support, and concern for U.S. national security on the decision to study abroad in the MENA region
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