Graduate Learning Overseas (GLO)

With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, IIE is pleased to launch GLO, a first-ever national survey of U.S. graduate students’ educational activities overseas.

Image: GLO Hero Image

Research shows that international educational experiences develop key skills related to global citizenship, intercultural communication, and language competency. Research also shows that enrollment in U.S. graduate education is on the rise. However, the full scale and scope of U.S. graduate experiences abroad remains unknown. A knowledge gap exists – graduate students’ activities overseas remain “invisible” in the national discourse on U.S. study abroad.

The Knowledge Gap

Image: Pie chart study abroad for graduate students and undergraduate students
Source: Open Doors, 2017

Due to institution-level reporting challenges, only a small fraction of graduate students’ overseas education is captured in existing data collection efforts, creating a gap in knowledge about their experiences and impact. This knowledge gap diminishes the ability of higher education institutions, researchers, and policymakers to 1) assess how well U.S. higher education institutions prepare graduates for today’s global workforce, and 2) inform the development of programs and policies. 

Contribution and Impact of GLO

IIE’s GLO survey will:

  • Provide publicly available data to better support graduate student education and training
  • Identify and establish best practices in data collection related to overseas experiences
  • Increase knowledge on existing connections between the U.S. and other countries, and on the impact graduate overseas experiences have on the home campus

GLO Plan of Action

GLO consists of three distinct phases, each lasting one year.
Image: GLO Timeline  

Phase 1

Conduct a National Survey: 

  • Document the scale and scope of graduate overseas educational activities
  • Document institutions’ practices in identifying and collecting data on graduate students’ overseas activities

Phase 2

Comprehensive Report:

  • Share study’s analysis and findings
  • Provide recommendations for the field

Phase 3

Bridge Study’s Findings to Future Research and Activities:

  • Provide survey information and results on website 
  • Develop and share institutional data collection toolkit
  • Conduct workshop with campus leaders to share best practices
  • Publish white paper based on the workshop