Study Abroad a Force for Peace, Even If It Does Not Build Sense of Community

Source: International Studies Quarterly via Academica

In the Washington Post, political science professor Calvert Jones has written about a recent study she conducted on over 500 study abroad participants at 11 US postsecondary institutions. Surprisingly, she said, the survey did not support the commonly held belief that cross-border contact “promotes a sense of shared international community.” However, the thesis that cross-border contact reduces the perception of threat was still supported. Finally, returning students displayed stronger feelings of nationalism, were prouder of their home country, and more patriotic; however they did not display an increased belief in American superiority. “Cross-border contact may still be a strong force for peace,” Jones concludes, “even if community is not the underlying mechanism.”