Generation study abroad initiative
September 19, 2014
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has pledged to join 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. UWRF has committed to increasing the number of students who study abroad each year from 310 to 400 over the next five years.
“The ultimate aim, as identified in UWRF’s strategic plan, is to enhance global education and engagement,” said Chancellor Dean Van Galen. “With the focus and energy of the international education unit working directly with academic colleges and specific faculty, UW-River Falls is confident it can achieve the goal it set for itself.”
“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” says Allan Goodman, the president of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”
With 2.6 million students graduating with associates or baccalaureate degrees each year, it is clear that major segments of America’s young people are not getting the international experience they will need to advance their careers and participate in the global economy, or to work together across borders to address global issues. Commitment partners are working to ensure that students from all backgrounds and in all fields of study have the opportunity to gain this important experience.
IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad because the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career. 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.
For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative and a complete list of commitment partners, visit www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad.