I love this article in The Onion, "More Colleges Offering Dick-Around Abroad Programs." It really does a great job of capturing the reputation of study abroad as little more than a semester-long party in another country. For some students, it is just that--but does that makestudy abroad any less valuable as a form of public diplomacy? The best, most effective public diplomacy is credible and shows us as we are, 'warts and all'. What's more credible than an informal conversation about politics over a pint in a pub? Student life demands an element of "dicking around"--and if we do that in the company of foreigners, at least we're getting more interesting dicking-around experience than our peers back at home.