“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
In an increasingly pluralistic world that demands original scholars and leaders who think critically, creatively, nimbly, across boundaries, who inquire endlessly, and who draw on a kaleidoscope of perspectives, immersive encounters with a foreign culture are among the most valuable experiences that a college education can provide. Striving to educate citizens who will thrive in a multicultural environment, at Yale-NUS we have made international experience a key tenet of our education.
At CIPE, we believe that study abroad experiences are fundamental to a 21st century university education for three reasons.
First, study abroad invites students to leave their comfort zones. Whether ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and even physical, such experiences foster intellectual nimbleness, emotional resilience, and openness toward others. It challenges beliefs and assumptions, introduces complexity, and helps develop, in the words of Martha Nussbaum, “narrative imagination” and “empathetic understanding of human experiences of many different kinds.”
Second, study abroad is a critical link in humanising and deepening knowledge through experience, application, and integration outside the classroom. It brings textbooks to life in indelible ways precisely because it bridges the classroom and the “real world,” weaving knowledge into students’ daily lives.
Finally, study abroad programming complements the Yale-NUS curriculum. Experiences on which embark will be well-integrated with their studies in the Common Curriculum and individual majors. In the case of certain majors, international study is being built into the major as a critical component of a student’s academic work, and one can easily imagine study abroad as a perfect foil to a historical immersion course or as a gateway to a deep-dive in a topic of interest or a specialised research opportunity not currently available at Yale-NUS. Just as importantly, a strong study abroad programme will enhance areas of our curriculum where we do not have as much coverage or depth as in our areas of traditional strength.
Are you keen on learning or gaining greater proficiency in a language? Experiencing a different culture? Conducting research? Taking classes not offered on campus? Or simply gaining new perspectives on your major or your future vocation? Whatever it is, international programs at CIPE promises a truly global education.