When the new millennium approached, educators looked toward the 21st century with either excitement or concern. As a perfect time for of self-reflection, many universities and colleges began to pay attention to a new generation of students that began arriving on campuses in 2000. Since then, much of the research has focused on identifying their distinctiveness, how they develop, and their overall impact on campus life. Yet, what do the curiosities of this generation of students mean for foreign language learners; and in particular, for students who plan to study abroad? As campuses across the country continue to globalize their curriculum, how can professors help these students learn and make the most of international educational opportunities? Known for being naturally global in their thinking, this generation exhibits various attributes that are ideally suited for study abroad. Therefore, this paper focuses on how we turn perceived challenges of the millennial student population into benefits in the context of international educational experiences, specifically looking at how family plays an important component in the encounter. It is often said that parents of this generation are an obstacle to professors and campus personnel in their academic endeavors. But upon reflection, I believe this may not be true; and as such, I will examine how faculty can best utilize this perceived difficulty to reveal how, in fact, parents can serve as a real asset and viability to the success of a study abroad program.
Joseph McClanahan, Creighton University, USA
Stream: Disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches
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