Internationalism, National Identities, and Study Abroad: France and the United States, 1890-1970

Synopsis

This book- the first long-term study of educational travel between France and the United States- suggests that, by studying abroad, ordinary people are constructively involved in international relations. Author Whitney Walton analyzes study abroad from the perspectives of the students, schools, governments, and NGOs involved and charts its changing purpose and meaning throughout the twentieth century. She shows how students' preconceptions of themselves, their culture, and the other nationality- particularly differences in gender roles- shaped their experiences and were transformed during their time abroad.

This book presents Franco-American relations in the twentieth century as a complex mixture of mutual fascination, apprehension, and appreciation- an alternative narrative to the common framework of Americanization and anti-Americanism. It offers a new definition of internationalism as a process of questioning stereotypes, reassessing national identities, and acquiring a tolerance for and appreciation of difference.