"Can you imagine what our country would look like if most Americans actually had the opportunity to study and travel abroad. We live in a great country. But to imagine an America in which the majority of us have had overseas experience is to imagine an American that is even more innovative, more creative, whose population is more exposed to the world, has more credibility abroad, and is, therefore, safer and has a stronger position in the world.” - Kimberly McClure
There is a US State Department video of Kimberly McClure, an eight year Foreign Service Officer, speaking to an audience of African-American college students. She urges them to study abroad in China. The video is here (I could not embed it in this post). In part, she says:
But I do want to take a step back first and talk about “why.” Why it is so important that American students study abroad. And I want to make the case to you all today….why it is particularly important for African-American students to study abroad in greater numbers…. For my generation going into the workforce having global skills and a sense of global competency was something that was a bonus. It was something that was “nice” to have. For your generation, however, I think it will be absolutely critical. I think it will be the key to separating yourself from the competition in the workforce.
Oregon, or Portland Public Schools, could pay for high school students to spend a high school year abroad. It need cost no more to send a student abroad for a year than to educate them in local school district in Oregon. There is no financial reason not to send high school students abroad.