Generation Study Abroad | Students

For Students

Photo: Toan Nguyen United KingdomWhy study abroad? Study abroad allows students to develop global competencies that are essential to succeed in the 21st century. Self-confidence, cultural awareness, flexibility, adaptability are among the transferable skills that many employers look for when hiring. Studying abroad gives students a competitive edge when applying for jobs, and has also been shown to increase the likelihood of being assigned an interesting project and even increased opportunities for getting a raise!

IIE hopes to rally students around our Generation Study Abroad Initiative and is seeking 10,000 students and alumni to join the initiative and help get the word out about study abroad. So what can you do?

Join the campaign


Students can also join by:

  • Starting to plan early for study abroad;
  • Check out "A Student Guide to Study Abroad" (available in paperback and as an eBook) and other IIE resources;
  • Visit your school's study abroad office;
  • Join the conversation at #GenerationStudyAbroad on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Share your creative and innovative thoughts on what it will take to double!
  • Encourage your campus to join the commitment and make a pledge to double their numbers of study abroad participants;
  • Become a Study Abroad Ambassador and start a campus-wide campaign;

Finally: Go study, work, volunteer abroad and then tell everyone about it!

Start exploring study abroad scholarships and programs

Please click on any of the images below to learn more about the resources IIE has for people interested in study abroad.

IIE Resources related to study abroad

Generation Study Abroad Video Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Generation Study Abroad Video Contest, in partnership with the New York Times in Education.

#GoStudyAbroad Campaign Winner Profiles

Congratulations to the #GoStudyAbroad scholarship and travel prize recipients. Thank you for taking the pledge to #GoStudyAbroad and for encouraging other students to do the same!

#GoStudyAbroad Scholarship Recipient Profiles

Travis Durgan
Junior, Michigan Technological University

$10,000 Scholarship and Round Trip Flight (Grand Prize)
Sponsored by the Institute of International Education and STA Travel

Travis, an engineering student who wishes to work in community development, would like to study abroad in Colombia to gain a “better understanding of different cultures”, and know what it is like to work in these communities, while at the same time improving his Spanish language skills.


Jonathan Blackmon
Sophomore, Florida A&M University

$5,000 Scholarship - Sponsored by AIFS Study Abroad

Jonathan, a political science major who wishes to work for the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer, plans to study abroad in Costa Rica for an entire year. Jonathan hopes to “obtain fluency in the Spanish language while immersing [himself] in the culture of the host country.”


Damian Carter
Freshman, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

$5,000 Scholarship - Sponsored by CET Academic Programs

Damian, a computer science major, has never had the opportunity to travel outside of the Midwest. Damian wishes to study abroad in China in order to embrace new cultures and “visit the unknown”. He hopes to bring what he learns while studying abroad back to his home community.


Starr Warner
Junior, University of Redlands

$5,000 Scholarship - Sponsored by IFSA-Butler

Starr, a history and psychology double major, believes that studying abroad with this scholarship is a once in a lifetime opportunity. She would like to study abroad in Australia and New Zealand in order to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures, languages, and ceremonies in relation to her own experience as a Navajo Native American.


#GoStudyAbroad Travel Prize Recipient Profiles

(Study Abroad Alumni Nominators)

Marissa Berggrun
Studied abroad in the United Kingdom

Travel Prize Recipient - Sponsored by AIFS Study Abroad

Marissa, a strategic communications major, wants to inspire others to study abroad by effectively communicating the impact of study abroad through speaking publicly on campus, sharing her experience with the numerous campus clubs and activities she is involved with, and by promoting study abroad through social media. Marissa believes it is important to inspire others to study abroad by creating a “story through expression, creativity, a wild imagination and heart.”


Kora Nixon
Studied abroad in the New Zealand

Travel Prize Recipient - Sponsored by the Institute of International Education (IIE)

Kora, a student at Michigan State University, wants to inspire the students at her school to study abroad “through self-made videos and on-campus presentations” to show others how “eye-opening and mind-opening it can be to view your own culture from the outside looking in.”


Kathleen Ryan
Studied abroad in Ireland

Travel Prize Recipient - Sponsored by STA Travel

Kathleen, a Study Abroad Advisor, wants to inspire students to study abroad as early as possible, including high school seniors. Kathleen believes that “guaranteeing a study abroad scholarship for later in their college career would allow students to plan early on many fronts, including applying for additional funding and intentionally choosing a program that fulfills academic requirements and personal/professional goals.”


Terrell Starr
Studied abroad in Ukraine

Travel Prize Recipient - Sponsored by IFSA-Butler

Terrell is a graduate of Philander Smith College, and a former Peace Corps Volunteer and Fulbright grantee. While completing journalistic research in the Ukraine as a Fulbright Scholar, Terrell researched African-Ukrainians’ self-perceptions of the African immigrant community in affiliation with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. Terrell’s research has been published in several American publications, and he is currently lecturing about his Fulbright experiences around the United States. Terrell works very hard to expose young people to study abroad opportunities, and states that he “has a Twitter following of nearly 20,000 and [] regularly tweets about study abroad—especially as a black person.” Terrell plans to inspire others to study abroad by hosting monthly Twitter chats and live video chats on Facebook with specific study abroad themes.


Vincenzo Volpe
Studied abroad in Denmark

Travel Prize Recipient - Sponsored by CET Academic Programs

Vincenzo inspires others to study abroad at Case Western Reserve University by leveraging social media platforms such as sharing photos on Facebook and Instagram, and utilizing the live stream function on Snapchat. In addition to his social media use, Vincenzo believes that it can be most effective to have a “one-on-one conversation with someone about how studying abroad can be the best choice that you make during your college career.”


Gilman Scholar Alumni Ashley BlackmonOther Ways to Advocate for Study Abroad

Those who go abroad know the impact that an international experience can have on one's goals, motivations and perspectives, as well as the valuable skills that one walks away with. Therefore, study abroad alumni are the best advocates as they are a testament to why study abroad is important for success in today's world.

Just as each and every student is unique, each and every study abroad experience is also unique. Have you thought about what you learned from study abroad, and how it influenced where you are today?

As a study abroad alum, you can pledge to share lessons learned from your study abroad experiences on your campus, with your employer, family, and larger community:

  • Join the conversation at #GenerationStudyAbroad on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and share how your study abroad experience has shaped your life;
  • Encourage your campus or alma mater to join the commitment and make a pledge to double their numbers;
  • Consider also supporting study abroad scholarships. Check out your campus' alumni office or donate to the IIE Study Abroad Fund.

Photo: Gilman participant Fernando Torres in ThailandThe Institute established the IIE Passport Awards for Study Abroad to encourage students from inner city high schools where we have offices to enroll in college and to study abroad during their undergraduate years.

As the world becomes increasingly interdependent, IIE believes that “international” be part of every student’s experience. To achieve this, we need to build a pipeline of students who will consider planning to study abroad when they get to college.

Study abroad is a life-changing experience for many students, opening their eyes to different ways of life and promoting understanding and tolerance. Research shows that students who study abroad have better grades, more confidence, and are more likely to graduate from college at higher rates than students who do not study abroad. Through the IIE Passport Awards, IIE aims to open doors to study abroad to outstanding high school students who may not have been planning to study abroad in college.

Learn more about the nomination and application process for the IIE Passport Awards for Study Abroad

Generation Study Abroad is designed as a five-year initiative because it's going to take significant time and effort to effect change. The role of parents in study abroad is central to the success of the campaign.

Written by three leading study abroad experts—Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, Allan E. Goodman, and William L. Gertz—this companion guide to A Student Guide to Study Abroad contains critical information parents need to inform themselves and to support their high school or college student as he or she navigates the study abroad experience.

Today’s graduates need a global mindset and international experience to compete for jobs. Studying abroad equips students with real-life, hands-on skills that no classroom can match, while opening up a world of personal and professional opportunities. As a parent, you can champion study abroad as an essential component of your child’s education.

Congratulations! You are eligible to download a free copy of IIE's book, "A Student Guide to Study Abroad."

You are eligible for a free eBook because your school has joined IIE's Generation Study Abroad campaign. To access your free copy, please complete this quick survey which will help IIE learn more about student interest and potential obstacles. When you complete the survey and click "submit," you will immediately be able to complete your free download.

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