NEW YORK, January 9, 2017 — IIE announced the first round of Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants today. The funds will be disbursed to 50 U.S. students to participate in academic, internship or service-learning experiences abroad in 2018.
The program is intended to diversify study abroad and reach high-achieving students with significant financial need who might not otherwise participate in an international experience as part of their college education. Study abroad is one of the best ways students can acquire global skills and expand their personal and professional opportunities. Through the Generation Study Abroad initiative, IIE aims to increase and diversify U.S. study abroad participation.
Preliminary demographic data indicate that first round grant recipients are more diverse than the national average. According to IIE Open Doors data, ethnic minority students made up only 27 percent of all U.S. students studying abroad in 2014-2015.
More than two-thirds of the Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants recipients identified as an ethnic minority. In addition, 68 percent identify as the first person in their family to attend college, and 94 percent identify as the first person in their family to study abroad. Grant recipients are currently studying at a diverse range of U.S. institutions, including public and private four-year schools, and community colleges.
In IIE’s recent publication, Underrepresented Students in U.S. Study Abroad, author Dr. Laura Engel reports that a growing body of research has found that study abroad has a positive impact on graduation outcomes among minority students.
“The correlation between study abroad success in higher education and value to employability is clear, and we hope to expand its benefits to a more diverse range of students through the Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants,” says IIE Generation Study Abroad lead, Lindsay Calvert.
Generation Study Abroad Travel Grant recipient Cesar Guerrero says he was motivated to study abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand in spring 2018 to experience first-hand how business operates in a different country. Guerrero is a senior and dual degree-seeker in Business Administration and Digital Technology and Culture at Washington State University in Pullman, WA.
In addition, Guerrero sees this as a significant learning opportunity not only for himself, but also as means to be a positive influence on his community. “As a former undocumented student and first-generation college student I am trying to do everything possible to show my siblings and family that attaining a higher education is possible, regardless of the odds,” Guerrero says. “I want students from my community to see the value in education and I believe that understanding other cultures is part of that.”
Ashley Jazayeri is a sophomore at Carroll College in Montana majoring in political science with a special interest in the relationship between the United States and the Middle East. With assistance from the Generation Study Abroad Travel Grant, she will study abroad in Morocco in the spring 2018 semester, where she will participate in an intensive Arabic language program, take Islamic culture and Middle Eastern studies classes, and engage in community activities.
Jazayeri recognizes the importance of cultural knowledge and intercultural communication for foreign relations and policy, especially to foster cooperation and peace. She intends to work for the federal government in the future and to use her studies to support the relationship between the U.S. and the Middle East.
“Since starting college, my worldview has expanded tremendously and meeting new people has allowed me to grow in both compassion and understanding,” Jazayeri remarks. “A few of the especially influential people to have done so have been international students. Their experiences are so unique from my own that knowing them has not only increased my knowledge of the world but made me a better person.”
In total, IIE will provide 100 grants of $2,000 per student in the 2018 academic year. IIE will support a second round of Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants for students planning to study abroad during the summer or fall in 2018. The next round of applications will be open in mid-January. Additional updates will be posted on the Generation Study Abroad’s website and IIE’s announcements page.
Lead funding to launch the program has been provided by Santander US. Gwen Robinson, Santander’s Managing Director of Corporate Social Responsibility commented, “At Santander, we consider educational access and opportunity to be among the fundamental building blocks for success. We’re fortunate to partner with the Institute of International Education to provide students with study abroad grants that will enrich their college educations and open them up to new experiences, cultures and perspectives.”
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants are made possible by the generous support of private donors.
To help open the doors to the world for more students and help their future take flight, IIE welcomes donations to our Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants.
IIE has been a world leader in international education since 1919. IIE works to build more peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. As a not-for-profit with 18 offices and affiliates worldwide, IIE collaborates with a range of corporate, government and foundation partners across the globe to design and manage scholarship, study abroad, workforce training and leadership development programs.
For more information, contact:
Catherine Morris, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (202) 326-7765