Senators say studying abroad prepares American college graduates to compete globally
WASHINGTON – US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and US Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), along with US Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) and John Katko (R-NY-24) ) who recently introduced the United States House of Representatives, today introduced the bipartisan Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act, which renames a competitive grant program run by the Department of State to the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program. This grant helps colleges expand study abroad opportunities to non-traditional destinations for underrepresented American college students. Studying abroad is an important part of a good post-secondary education, giving students the opportunity to socialize with other cultures, improve foreign language skills, and expand internationally. experience through experience. Named after Illinois US Senator Paul Simon – who declared the benefits of universal education to be vital to the US economy and national security – this bill is designed to implement the proposal from the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program to promote higher education abroad. programs.
“Senator Paul Simon has always known the value of understanding how the world works and how we are all interconnected,” Durbin said. “This legislation builds on Senator Simon’s vision by creating more opportunities for American students of all backgrounds to see and experience the world. By providing opportunities for the next generation of students next to study abroad after COVID-19 shuts down the world, they will be better prepared to lead a successful life and expand their horizons around the world.”
“Study abroad is a valuable resource for many American college students who hope to become our nation’s future leaders,” Wicker said. “I appreciate this effort to expand access to study abroad for thousands of college graduates who otherwise would not have had the opportunity.”
“During his time in office, Senator Paul Simon was an outspoken leader in American foreign affairs and an incredible advocate for the people of Illinois. He was also an important in my life and inspiration for my work in public service,” said Bustos. “I can think of no better way to honor his legacy than to create a study abroad scholarship in his name, giving our future leaders the opportunity to gain knowledge world. I am proud to partner with Congressman Katko and Senators Durbin and Wicker to support his leadership of working across the board and creating new opportunities for the next generation.”
Joining Durbin and Wicker in introducing the legislation in the Senate are US Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Angus King (I -ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Alex Padilla (D-CA).
“By increasing and diversifying education abroad participation through certification, the Simon Bill ensures that a greater number and cross-section of American citizens will graduate ready to enter tomorrow’s workers, as Senator Simon observed,” said Dr. Esther D. Briimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. “NAFSA appreciates the value of the leaders in supporting them for their continued leadership on this issue and we are ready to be a proud partner to provide the necessary support and funding to implement the plan this work.”
“International knowledge is essential for employees in today’s global business,” said Association of Public and Land-grant Universities President Mark Becker. “We thank Senators Durbin and Wicker as well as Representatives Bustos and Katko for their continued leadership in spearheading the Bipartisan Simon Act to support education abroad partnerships and support lift US global competitiveness. We urge Congress to enact this important legislation without delay.”
“In 2003, my father spent most of his last year on earth lobbying his former colleagues on Capitol Hill to embrace the idea of a study abroad model, and not is unique, in this country. He believes that by giving young Americans more opportunities to experience other cultures, first hand, so that we can create understanding as expected on September 11, 2001,” Martin H. Simon, son of the late Senator Simon. “Two of my father’s protégés, Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Cheri Bustos, have worked hard to bring Dad’s vision to life, and I thank them and their Republican colleagues for introduce this bipartisan policy.”
Currently, only ten percent of American college students participate in a study abroad program before they graduate, and participation is not representative of the diversity seen in today’s universities.
The goals of the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program are:
- Increase the number of undergraduate students studying abroad each year to one million students in 10 years;
- Enable minority students, undergraduate students, community students, and students with disabilities to study abroad, so the public of study abroad participation with regard to the population of university students; and
- Enable students to study abroad in non-traditional settings, with reference to the country’s economy, while maintaining health and safety standards standards and guidelines from the Department of Health and other relevant organizations and resources.
Durbin first introduced this legislation in 2006 as an Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Act according to the recommendations of the Board of Trustees of the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship – of which Durbin is a member.
This bill is supported by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, ACTFL, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Association of Teachers of German, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, American Council on Education, American Councils for International Education, Association of American Universities, California Language Teachers’ Association, Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium, Delaware Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Diversity Abroad Network, Fluency Consulting LLC, Foreign Language Association of Georgia, Foreign Language Association of North Carolina, Fund for Education Abroad, Global Virginia, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, IES Abroad, Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling , Indiana Foreign Language Tea chers Association, Association of International Education, International Association for Language Learning Technology, Joint National Committee for Languages, MARACAS / Learning Kaleidoscope, Massachusetts Foreign Language Association, Michigan World Language Association, Mississippi Foreign Language Association, Montana Association of Language Teachers, National Association for College Admission Counseling, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, National Committee for Latin and Greek, National Council for Languages and International Studies, National Education Association, National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations, Network of Business Educators, Southwest Conference on Foreign Language Teaching, PA State Modern Language Association, Partners of the Americas, Providence Public Schools, Southwest Conference on Long uage Teaching, The Alliance for International Exchang e, The Association for International Exchange RI, The Conference on Study Abroad, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United Negro College Fund, West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association, and World Language Initiative – Montana.