Education and Culture 31 (2):13-26 (2015)

Megan Jane Laverty
Teachers College, Columbia University
The perceived importance of a global experience in higher education is hard to underestimate. University presidents are known to boast of their “percentage,” or the proportion of undergraduates who study abroad. At least part of the rationale is a cosmopolitan one: an essential part of being acknowledged as educated derives in part from an appreciation of different cultures and development of worldliness. The expectation is that a global experience will stand out as an enduring memorial of an encounter with others. These experiences are edified in resumes and narrated with veneration, further illuminating their cultural importance as coming-of-age rituals, particularly among a striding upper middle class...
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DOI 10.1353/eac.2015.0018
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