IIE Calls on Teachers to Take Action to Inspire Students to Study Abroad

NEW YORK, February 5, 2015—The Institute of International Education (IIE) officially launched a new campaign today to seek 1,000 teachers to join Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative that brings leaders in education, business and governments together to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad. Currently, fewer than 10% of college students in the United States study abroad before they graduate. Recognizing the key role that K-12 teachers play in bringing the world into their classrooms, IIE has teamed up with globally-minded organizations to connect teachers with resources to help inspire their students to gain the international experience they will need to succeed in today’s world.

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad asks teachers to Take the Pledge to prepare their students to be global citizens, and specifically to encourage them to go to college expecting to have an international experience and build their international skills. Teachers are powerful motivators when it comes to encouraging students to pursue any and all types of global study, from classroom projects in elementary school to study abroad programs in college. They are uniquely positioned to inspire curiosity about the world by teaching all subjects through a global lens, as well as advocating for global enrichment activities, language learning, and exchange programs. By joining IIE Generation Study Abroad, teachers gain access to news and networking opportunities designed to build the global educator community as well as resources to enhance instruction.

Prior to the official launch of the IIE Generation Study Abroad Teachers Campaign, more than 100 teachers have already signed on to take concrete actions to advocate for study abroad. They have shared their stories on the IIE Generation Study Abroad Teacher Stories site, to provide ideas for other teachers and administrators across the country.

Allan E. Goodman, IIE’s President and CEO, says “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders. Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. We aspire to make ‘international’ part of every student’s experience. To achieve our goal of doubling study abroad by the end of the decade, it is essential to work with teachers and support them in building a pipeline of students who are prepared to take advantage of international opportunities.”

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad brings cooperating organizations together to maximize their impact and effectiveness and to help integrate study abroad information into the wealth of resources that they provide to help globalize classrooms. A few examples of organizations that have made Generation Study Abroad commitments are: National Geographic, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), Asia Society, and Reach the World. Others have pledged financial support for students and teachers: CIEE has pledged student scholarships for their programs and the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation will collaborate with IIE to provide Generation Study Abroad Enrichment Grants to teachers.

How to Get Involved:

Join Generation Study Abroad

Contribute to the Generation Study Abroad Fund

Be an Advocate

Twitter: @iieglobal, #generationstudyabroad

Facebook: IIEGlobal


IIE Generation Study Abroad Teachers Campaign: How It Works

Taking Action. There are many ways in which teachers and administrators can expand awareness of study abroad in the school community. These range from creating a passport day or inviting a study abroad student into the classroom, to working with the school district to gain support and recognition for global programs—all of which are needed to shift the paradigm of study abroad so it is viewed as an essential part of a college education. The Institute offers downloadable Ideas for Pledge Actions (2 MB, PDF) and encourages educators to be creative and put together their own innovative actions and share them with the community.

Providing Information and Networks. By joining IIE Generation Study Abroad, teachers gain access to news and networking opportunities designed to build the global educator community. Teachers are invited to connect with other K-12 educators and school systems as well as higher education professionals and to share ideas and challenges and to advance the conversation. Resources include:

  • IIE’s Global Opportunities for Teachers newsletter and I’m on Board! Commitment Partner news updates
  • Webinars on how to engage administrators/students/parents and how to increase global education in schools and school districts
  • Eligibility for incentive grants/awards to outstanding Generation Study Abroad Teachers who promote study abroad awareness in schools
  • An eBook license for IIE’s “A Student Guide to Study Abroad”
  • Copies of “A Parents Guide to Study Abroad” sponsored by AIFS
  • An invitation to participate in the IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad Summit, which brings all commitment partners together to drive change. The first annual summit will be held on October 1-2 in Washington, DC.
  • A toolkit of resources from IIE and other collaborating organizations

Bringing Together Experts and Tools. As a nearly 100 year-old not-for-profit organization driven by our mission of Opening Minds to the World®, IIE plays a trusted role in convening experts and bringing together resources from throughout the private sector, the K-12 and higher education communities, and government entities. IIE’s Generation Study Abroad brings cooperating organizations together to maximize their impact and effectiveness and integrate study abroad information into the tools they offer. A few examples of organizations that have made Generation Study Abroad commitments are:

  • National Geographic provides free geography, social studies, and science teaching resources such as reference and news, maps and mapping tools, and games and interactive media. The National Geographic Educator Community supports educators who help their students learn about our interconnected world globally and locally.
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) provides language teaching tools and advocates for language learning on all levels.
  • Asia Society offers resources and lesson plans to help teachers build global competence to understand and act on issues of global significance.
  • Reach the World cultivates relationships between students in classrooms and volunteer world travelers, including Gilman and Fulbright Scholars, through an innovative program of online journalism and face-to-face interactions.

Leveraging Financial Resources. IIE is seeking partners from every sector to provide funding for students and educators. Several in particular have direct impact on K-12 community; details on these and other new commitments will be announced in the coming year.

  • AIFS Foundation will provide Generation Study Abroad Enrichment Grants to fund professional development for teachers with the goal of raising global awareness in the classrooms and preparing students for global citizenship and study abroad.
  • CIEE will provide scholarship grants to select schools that have shown a commitment to expanding global education and promoting exchange opportunities with CIEE.
  • IIE Passport Awards for Study Abroad encourage students from inner city high schools to enroll in college and make plans to study abroad during their undergraduate years. With the support of IIE’s Board of Trustees, IIE Passport Awards are made to an outstanding individual from each of five selected schools in the six cities where IIE has offices: Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

Serving the K-12 community. Additional commitment partners offering programs and activities for K-12 students and educators include: AFS Intercultural Programs USA; CALE Now!; Global Citizen Year; Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO); Global Glimpse; Global Nomads, Greenheart Travel, OneWorld Now!; and World Smart.

Building a Coalition. IIE has built the Generation Study Abroad coalition to raise awareness of the need for students to gain language and cultural skills, and to identify and break down barriers, share innovative strategies, and mobilize additional financial resources. Prior to the launch of the teacher campaign, nearly 500 partners had joined Generation Study Abroad in its first year. They include: 309 U.S. colleges and universities from 46 states; 75 international universities and organizations; 17 education associations; 68 study abroad organizations; and 13 U.S. and foreign government entities, including the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Changing the Perception of Study Abroad. Generation Study Abroad urges partners to work not only on increasing the numbers but also on changing the perception of study abroad so that all students enter college with the expectation of having an international experience before they graduate. Campuses of all types are taking steps to reach out to specific underrepresented groups by using peer-to-peer advising, training faculty and advising staff, and developing tailored programs. Commitment partners, including Diversity Abroad, Fund for Education Abroad, Student Language Exchange, WeSpeke, and K-12 organizations such as Global Glimpse and Global Citizen Year, are working to shift the landscape of study abroad.


About Generation Study Abroad

Generation Study Abroad™ is a five-year initiative of the Institute of International Education to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad by the end of the decade. Our aim is to encourage meaningful, innovative action to drive up the number of U.S. students who have the opportunity to gain international experience through academic study abroad programs, internships, service learning and non-credit educational experiences. IIE has built the Generation Study Abroad coalition to raise awareness of the need for students to gain language and cultural skills, identify and break down barriers, share innovative strategies, and mobilize additional financial resources. In the first year, nearly 500 partners from academia, and the public and private sectors from the U.S. and abroad joined IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative. These partners have pledged specific, actionable goals and tangible financial commitments that will contribute significantly to reach our ambitious goal. The teacher campaign is the next phase, recognizing the key role that teachers play in bringing the world into their classrooms and inspiring their students.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions.