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Duke University Study: Surprising Benefits of Engaging with International Students

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Being in contact with international students not only improves American students’ foreign language and cultural skills but also has a positive impact on their cognitive development, Businessweek reports citing a recent study run out of Duke University. The study—which is based on a 2005 online survey conducted among 5,600 members of the graduating classes of 1985, 1995 and 2000 from four highly selective U.S. institutions—revealed that those American students who often interacted with international students acquired more skills than those who did not have a comparable amount of such interactions.

Although this article focuses mainly on the effects of international interaction within business schools, the message can be applied to various types of schools. The article suggests that interaction with international students should be integrated into the curriculum, noting that it is not enough to simply have international students enrolled at a school, and that "about 25 per cent of the survey respondents reported having little or no interaction with international students." 

To read the full study, click here.

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