There is a consensus today, much like the one about science and math studies after the launch of Sputnik 50 years ago, that globally fluent graduates are essential to American competitiveness. International exposure, whether study, volunteer work or internship, has become a must-have credential. With the new demand — the number studying abroad is twice that of eight years ago — what was once an add-on has become big business. About 6,000 programs send students to more than 100 countries.
New York Times

“International education ignites a passion for understanding other people and their perspectives. That’s one important benefit to working or studying abroad – and it’s essential to success in our increasingly diverse world. Students with international exposure come to understand the value of dialogue between people from different cultures and between people with different points of view. They also gain an understanding of the importance of relationships. Relationships are the foundation for meaning and success in life. They are also the foundation for strong businesses, especially businesses that care about creating mutual benefit.”
Daft, Douglass H.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Coca Cola Company

“It is through international education that we will send more American students to study abroad and prepare them to function effectively in a global environment. In this day and age – and especially since September 11 – no American should graduate from college without a basic knowledge of at least one world area and foreign language. The best way to accomplish this is by making study abroad a routine component of U.S. undergraduate education. Polling data suggest that students and parents recognize the importance of language learning and study abroad–but resource constraints, lack of programs, rigidities in higher education curricula, and student perceptions of the job market have combined to limit participation. The United States can no longer afford to be passive about promoting study abroad. “
NAFSA

“None of us is born intolerant of those who differ from us. Intolerance is taught and can be untaught — though often with great difficulty. But in this area, as in others, prevention is far preferable to cure. We must work to prevent intolerance from taking hold in the next generation. We must build on the open-mindedness of young people, and ensure that their minds remain open.”
“Today, such programmes are more important than ever. Clearly, we need to use education to advance tolerance and understanding. Perhaps more than ever, international understanding is essential to world peace — understanding between faiths, between nations, between cultures.”
Annan, Kofi
U.N. Secretary-General
United Nations