By the nineteenth century and the onset of the industrial revolution, the power loom was replacing hand-weaving operations in the textile industry. Skilled weavers were trained to operate multiple machines at once to exponentially increase production. In the twenty-first century, advancements like the supersonic jet and the World Wide Web offer us virtually instantaneous transfer of people, goods, and knowledge. Not unlike the pursuit of manufacturing skills of a previous century, our contemporary quest for competence in the digital age has fueled a drive for state-of-the-art skills so employees can thrive in the new global economy. This chapter will explore the potential for education abroad at the community college as a vehicle for student global competence. This exploration will unfold first through a discussion of what global competence looks like. Then, through in-depth interviews and observations of community college students who participated in an international internship, four case studies will review the extent to which these students’ competencies increased through participation in an internship abroad.
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