In the News: ‘How 9/11 Shaped the Millennial Generation,’ and Study Abroad

By Purnell T. Cropper | September 9, 2011

Writer Eleni Towns was a freshman in high school when her teacher explained that the World Trade Center was under attack. Now a Research Assistant at the Center for American Progress, she writes about “How 9/11 Shaped the Millennial Generation.”

“Fear or anger hasn’t sent the Millennial generation into seclusion, despite the fact many Millennials believe that the U.S. is no longer globally respected,” she says. “In fact, Millennials, in spite of or in response to the 9/11 attacks, are more eager than our predecessors to engage with other cultures first hand and some have embraced opportunities to be a more global generation.

“Millennials are reaching out to cultures abroad,” she continues. “More Millennials study abroad compared to previous generations and interest in nontraditional destinations has grown as more students study outside of Western Europe. In only the first academic year following 9/11, participation in abroad programs jumped 8.8 percent. Although many expected study abroad participation to Islamic countries to drop after 9/11, enrollment rose 127 percent from 2002 to 2006, according to studies from the Institute of International Education.” Read her article.