EUGENE, OR, May 28, 2014—The University of Oregon has joined the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. The initiative is also focusing on increasing the diversity of the students who study abroad, ensuring quality, and removing barriers to participation. UO has committed to increasing the number of students who study abroad by 40% over the next five years.
Over 1,200 UO students currently participate in study or internship abroad each year. By the time they graduate, over 25% of UO undergraduates will have studied abroad. These numbers reflect substantial recent growth. Twelve years ago only 10% of UO undergraduates made it abroad.
When UO students were surveyed about why they choose not to study abroad, over 50% cited financial obstacles. The average fully inclusive cost per term of a study abroad experience is $9,455 more than in-state tuition per term.
“We are developing a bold plan remove financial hurdles for students wanting to study abroad. We believe an endowed scholarship fund that distributes a substantial number of scholarships annually is essential for the university to provide students with access to transformative international educational experiences,” said Dennis Galvan, vice provost for international affairs. “Our next capital campaign will include a significant endowment fund to support much-needed scholarships to support study abroad.”
UO Study Abroad manages more than 190 study and internship programs in 90 countries worldwide. Overall, UO currently ranks 4th in 2014 Gilman Scholars, and has consistently ranked in the Top 10 for Peace Corps volunteers.
“When students seek my advice about the most valuable experience in college, I urge them to study abroad,” said UO President Michael Gottfredson. “No matter how rich and engaging we make our learning environment on campus, nothing compares to using a second language in a real world setting; managing professional interactions and friendships in a foreign context; and experiencing the heritage and culture of other countries. It is life changing.”
Two months after the official launch of Generation Study Abroad, the Institute of International Education has doubled its number of partners to 308. They include: 241 U.S. colleges and universities from 46 states; 9 non-U.S. institutions; 13 education associations; 34 study abroad organizations; 11 U.S. and foreign government entities, including the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recognizing the importance of an internationally focused workforce, IIE is also actively seeking the participation of corporations and the business community.
“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” says Dr. Allan Goodman, President of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”
IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad to increase the number of students who graduate with an educational experience. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career. According to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange released by IIE last November with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 295,000 students studied abroad in 2011/12.. Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade. Building on its nearly 100-year commitment to study abroad, IIE has committed $2 million of its own funds to this initiative over the next 5 years.
For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, go to: www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad.
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Media Contacts for University of Oregon:
Vice Provost for International Affairs
Office of International Affairs
Director Study Abroad
Office of International Affairs