- The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad: Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship
Ross Lewin's anthology presents a wealth of conceptual and critical views that invite us to step back and reassess the nature of the study-abroad experiences offered by American universities. "Global citizenship" provides the framework for that reflection while serving as an effective tool for extensive review of practices and concepts associated with study abroad and overseas experiences.
Numerous contributions emphasize the need to move away from study abroad as a "glorified vacation" or a contemporary version of a "grand tour" (or "petit tour" given the proliferation of short-term programs) in favor of restructuring the multiple types of international experience as reflexive learning and forms of global community engagement and service. [End Page 176]
The editor describes the volume as offering the reader "a sense of the state of the field" (p. xx). In this goal, he succeeds quite well. His extensive survey of the literature on global citizenship and study abroad spans a variety of perspectives, disciplines, and types of institutions. It provides a broad look at current practices in study abroad—which themselves vary widely—and the nature of global citizenship. The result is a useful reference tool, not only for study-abroad advisors and directors, but also for all international education leaders, including university international officers, several of whom have contributed chapters.
The book is divided into four sections. The first attempts to define global citizenship and the second looks at the fit of global citizenship and study abroad within the mission of the academy. The third section examines institutional challenges and strategies related to the fostering of "global citizenship study abroad." The fourth section provides examples of what Lewin calls innovative models for global citizenship study abroad.
The articles in Part 1, while grouped under "Defining Global Citizenship in Study Abroad," offer a number of takes on global citizenship and how best to educate global citizens. From multiple, multidimensional, and fluid "citizenships," to a national language imperative, to engagement with global civil society, the reader is presented with what may be too many facets of global citizenship given the lack of a consensus definition. Some of the later chapters actually provide a clearer articulation of the attributes of a global citizen.
Part 2 is titled "Aligning Global Citizenship and Study Abroad with the Mission of the Academy." The authors of these chapters consider the interplay of study abroad and other institutional and educational goals. They argue for greater access to study abroad for traditionally underrepresented students, content-based language instruction for greater local engagement, greater diversity of non-Eurocentric sites, and more integrative and reflexive learning opportunities. The latter part of this section looks at study abroad and global citizenship in the context of different professions, nationalities, and types of institutions.
In Parts 3 and 4, Lewin no longer treats study abroad and global citizenship as separate concepts but fuses them in the term "global citizenship study abroad." Among institutional barriers, several authors of chapters in Part 3 cite changing the attitudes and beliefs of the faculty and students toward study abroad as essential. Also included among roadblocks to be overcome are integrating overseas study with the rest of the curriculum, effective assessment, and academic preparation and follow up, particularly in short programs or those with a research focus.
The volume concludes with models of successful programs with differing emphases at different kinds of institutions. The melding of theory and practice and the scope of program designs and goals make these case studies the most fascinating reading in the book. They are the payoff to the intricacies of contextualization presented in earlier readings.
Throughout the book, Lewin welcomes perspectives from a wide range of higher educational institutions, a host of disciplines, and from leaders and innovators in the field. This inclusiveness creates the richness of the volume and contributes greatly to its value...