Norfolk State University
118 Bowser Hall
Norfolk, VA 23504
(757) 823-2819
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Why Study Abroad


International study and the acquisition of cross-cultural communication skills are imperatives of contemporary higher education. Americans who study abroad in quality programs for academic credit; engage in service and experiential learning, internships, and research; and study foreign areas and languages are far better prepared for the demands of the twenty-first century.  Building relationships with other nations has become increasingly complex endeavor which transcends governmental and diplomatic prerogatives. While a consensus exists that international educational exchanges remain one of our strongest and most effective tools of public policy, they also play a role in developing the critical and knowledge skills of our young generations. They enhance our understanding, as a nation, of other societies, cultures, conflicts, histories, and world-views, while simultaneously enhancing our ability to reflect on our own. Just as importantly, they contribute, on institutional, scientific, and personal levels, to the development of strong and durable relationships with the rest of the world.                                          
It has been acknowledged time and time again that a shortage of language and cultural skills among our citizens does a disservice to our national interests and to peace and prosperity in the world. Educational experts have also bemoaned the limits of limiting ourselves to traditional classroom experiences, and extolled the virtues of exposure to real-world settings. Study abroad affords students cultural and linguistic education beyond what can be conveyed by from behind lecterns or in laboratories. 
We need to ensure that our graduates design their career objectives and begin their professional lives with knowledge about, and sensitivity to, the opportunities and constraints of the global arena. Studying abroad should be the rule rather than the exception in U.S. higher education; indeed, many colleges and universities have made such study mandatory or integrated it into their core curriculum. As we become a nation whose citizens are globally educated, intercultural cooperation and transnational development will gradually take on more effective, reciprocal, and broadly embraced forms.

Anticipated demographic and marketplace changes make it imperative that institutions of higher education, especially historically black colleges and universities, prepare students for leadership and service in settings that offer international and global opportunities through academic exposure and experiences. As an institution with both liberal arts and professional school components, and with numerous foreign faculty and students, Norfolk State University has long been committed to learning without borders. Furthermore, the presence of extensive military facilities in our community, added to the significant number of students in our university undergoing military or intelligence preparation, has given us an additional incentive and 2 advantage for increased internationalization. Our business, medical, cultural, social science and humanities programs also require significant global enhancements in order to remain competitive in the educational and scholarly marketplace.
Norfolk State University International Studies