IIE Announces Impact of Generation Study Abroad

WASHINGTON, DC, October 1, 2015—The Institute of International Education announced today that higher education institutions, study abroad organizations and other partners that have joined IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative have committed $185 million in financial support over the next five years to make study abroad more accessible to all. This funding will provide support to students, faculty and programming to expand study abroad opportunities over the next five years.

Generation Study Abroad aims to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade, and diversify the study abroad population. Because fewer than 10 percent of American college students study abroad, IIE is mobilizing resources and commitments to enable more U.S. students, especially those that are typically underrepresented in U.S. study abroad, to participate in an international academic, internship, or service-learning experience.

This financial support is a key finding of a new report, “Generation Study Abroad: Year One Impact” released today at the inaugural IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad in Washington, DC. Based on a survey of the organizations that have made actionable commitments since the initiative was launched in March 2014, the report spotlights examples of partners who have made noteworthy progress to date and details what they have committed to accomplish.

The impact report found that 84% of the U.S. colleges and universities who have joined the initiative plan to create or expand scholarships for underrepresented study abroad students, such as minority or ethnically diverse students or first generation students. Many are using their new scholarship ideas and actions to attract funding from the local community, alumni and businesses.

The IIE-led Generation Study Abroad initiative now includes more than 600 partner organizations, including 350 U.S. colleges and universities, and 100 from outside of the United States. Study abroad organizations and education associations as well as 14 country partners around the world have also joined. In addition, 500 K-12 teachers from 50 states have pledged to take action to encourage their students to develop a global perspective and consider studying abroad when they are in college.

“Studying abroad is one of the best ways American college students gain the international experience necessary to succeed in today’s global workforce. And it prepares them to be real contributors to solving key global issues in the world we share,” said Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education.

Other highlights from the impact report on commitment partner actions include:

  • 91% of the U.S. institutions are creating or expanding programs to offer more international for-academic credit opportunities
  • 64% of the U.S. institutions are increasing the number of academic programs (certificates, minors or majors) that require or offer a study abroad component
  • 77% of the international institutions are creating or expanding short-term – including Work, Internships and Volunteering Abroad (WIVA) – study abroad opportunities
  • 71% of U.S. institutions are committing to increasing finances for faculty members to develop and lead faculty led study abroad programs

The IIE Summit, held on October 1st and 2nd at Washington’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, convened representatives of commitment partners as well as government and business leaders and journalists to discuss ways to increase and diversify study abroad participation, with a focus on the following topics:

  • How can study abroad be redefined and rebranded for today’s global economy?
  • What innovative solutions are most effective in increasing study abroad participation?
  • How does study abroad build a globally minded workforce?
  • What is the impact of study abroad?

Through a series of high-level plenary keynotes and debates, action-oriented panel sessions, think tanks and networking opportunities, as well as an engaging expo hall, the goal of the Summit is to mobilize commitments and inspire new actions.

In the most recent data available, IIE’s Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange shows that only about 300,000 U.S. students study abroad each year. With 2.6 million students earning undergraduate degrees each year, that means less than 10% of U.S. students graduating with associates or baccalaureate degrees will have studied abroad. The IIE Generation Study Abroad Goal is to double the number of students who study abroad, so that the number of students studying abroad in an academic year will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade. IIE is calling on all institutions to increase the number and the diversity of their students who study abroad by making more opportunities available to their students.

Visit the Generation Study Abroad website to view and download the impact report as well as shareable infographics showing facts and figures about study abroad and the Generation Study Abroad Commitment partners.

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.

Note to editors:

Reporters are invited to attend and cover the Summit. RSVP to switherell@iie.org.

New data from the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, published by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will be released on November 16. Contact IIE for press information.


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