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Make semester abroad more meaningful
Contributed by Luther S. Luedtke, The Baltimore Sun, USA   

As classes begin today at Goucher College, the Towson institution becomes the first college in the nation to require all incoming students to study abroad during their college careers. This pioneering step, reflecting a growing need to cultivate globally literate and internationally experienced young people, is to be applauded and encouraged. The proposal, however, could be even more ambitious.

What if, in addition to touring museums and learning new languages, students did as Jan Eliasson, president of the U.N. General Assembly and foreign minister of Sweden, has suggested? He would like all American college students to spend a semester abroad not simply studying but conducting grass-roots service - staffing schools and clinics, improving water sanitation, developing environmentally sound agriculture and helping start local business ventures in the world's struggling nations.

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