The Economic Necessity of Youth Exchange
Hempstead, Kimberly Jo
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The world is becoming smaller each day through the advancement of technology. As the real costs of transportation and communication fall, economies of nations all over the world become more accessible. World trade has expanded and all countries have been affected by this growth. With cooperation, great gains can be had by all. The world of economics is taking on a new shape. The twelve nations of Europe will have dropped all trade barriers by January 1, 1993, creating one of the strongest economies on earth. New markets and potential partners and competitors are emerging in Eastern Europe. Many businesses in the United States do not feel prepared for these exciting changes. Our schools have not produced the world minded entrepreneurs needed for this aggressive global society. Something must be done to assure the future welfare of the U.S. economy and its citizens. International education is one answer. It can start in the elementary schools and continue through the educational process. Every subject must be approached with an international viewpoint. This paper illustrates how one organization, Youth For Understanding International Exchange, helps to educate Americans about the world beyond our borders. The author completed a research project that shows the impact of an experience abroad on the individual participant and on society as a whole. The participants in the survey were sponsored by the Chevron corporation through the Youth For Understanding Corporate Scholarship program. Direct contact with people of another land is one of the best ways to foster intercultural awareness. High school exchange achieves this goal. An experience abroad at such a young age affects the student in a number of positive ways. The experiences will stay with the students through their studies into their adult lives.