The Chronicle of Higher Education reports this week (subscription required) that the state of Connecticut has joined New York in its investigation of administrative and financial shenanigans in the way colleges offer study abroad programs.
As I have written on numerous occasions (here, there, and here again), the study abroad “industry” has become a very lucrative business for some third parties, and many colleges and universities have not exercised proper oversight in how these programs are run. Most colleges do not operate their own programs, and faculty at those college usually have very little input or control of the academic quality.
Students who anticipate participating in study abroad programs during their college years should ask very pointed questions about how study abroad programs are administered at the colleges to which they apply. Students will also want to have some idea of the industry standards and principles of good practice. There is an awful lot of room for abuse in this realm, and colleges often do not have either the financial or human resources to properly vet and provide oversight.
So as I wrote once before, “Caveat Emptor!” Buyer Beware!