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February 13, 2008

Comments

Shirah Foy

As an exchange student recently returned from a year in French high school in Brussels, Belgium, and having paid for my trip 100% through personal employment wages and a small family donation, I must disagree with clause 4 of the above proposal.

Why do you find it relevant whether a student receives private funding or not? Is this an attempt to make it "fair" for everyone? What happens to the student whose trip is going to cost more than his allotted 90% per student funding? Why put students inside of a box, limiting them to certain countries, (which is inevitable under clause 4, due to the cost of living variable in every country) and perhaps extinguishing their desire to ever study abroad because no matter how hard they work or how much funding they produce they will not be allowed to study in the region of their choice?

As an individual who lived in a foreign country for 12 months, studied in that country's public school system, became fluent in the language, and was blessed with many other travel opportunities while there--considering all these experiential and intellectual accquisitions--the most important and notable gain was in personal character. For a reason even more important than producing globally-aware citizens, we need to send our students abroad that they may return mature, well-rounded, self-dependent, patriotic citizens with a deep appreciation of the rights and luxuries they enjoy as an Oregonian and an American; students who possess a comprehensive world view and the ability to think for themselves.

Please consider revising clause 4 of the proposal. Feel free to contact me for further discussion and/or suggestions. I have seen firsthand the benefits of study abroad and care deeply about the matter-- I am more than willing to work with you on this to help create a program that would greatly benefit fellow Oregonians.

Shirah Foy
(541) 621-8933
shiraheden@gmail.com

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