Looking Back From Afar

Looking Back From Afar

Colby's far-flung international alumni consider their time on Mayflower Hill

By Stephen Collins '74


 
In the last five years, Colby has almost tripled the number of foreign nationals in the student body. That's counter to a trend that saw a long-running increase in the number of international students attending American colleges and universities shift last year—the first decline in 32 years.

Colby professors and fellow students rave about the diverse perspectives and keen intellects that international students bring to discussions and laboratories and about the ways that the community is enriched when its members come from 66 foreign countries.

But what is the outcome for the adventurous souls who come to Maine from the great cities and the far corners of the world? How does a Colby education serve them, whether they end up on Wall Street or back home in Tokyo? How does immersion in American culture color their experience if they choose to return to Brazil or to roam the world? How does the uniquely American liberal arts education play in Istanbul?

Seeking case studies, if not definitive answers to those questions, Colby took a somewhat random walk around the world asking international Colby graduates how it worked out for them. Besides unearthing some interesting insights, impressive accomplishments, and compelling stories, we ran into some troubling trends in international education.
 
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