Foreign Students and the Internationalization of American Education during the Early Twentieth Century

AHA Session 23
Thursday, January 5, 2012: 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Indiana Room (Chicago Marriott Downtown)
Liping Bu, Alma College
Lisa R. Mar, University of Maryland at College Park

Session Abstract

What role did foreign students play in the internationalization of American education during the early twentieth century?  The papers on this panel seek to answer this question by exploring the activities and ideologies of foreign student studying in colleges and universities in the United States and the networks they formed on their campuses and beyond.  While many historians have traditionally approached foreign students as extensions of a U.S.-centered policy of education internationalization designed to politically benefit America, this panel analyzes the students as political and social agents themselves.  As such, foreign students not only challenged American students to broaden their horizons and consider a more global approach to viewing the world, but also formed powerful networks to combat problems such as discrimination and cultural ignorance in their larger communities, internationalizing American society as well as American education.  The papers on this panel argue that understanding the social and political activities of foreign students in America is crucial for understanding the globalization of America in general.

See more of: AHA Sessions