The San Mateo County Community College District Study Abroad Program has joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans to gain international experience through study abroad programs. This is one of more than 450 new commitments announced by IIE.
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. The District Study Abroad Program, housed at Skyline College, has pledged to send 500 students across the three campuses abroad by 2018.
Under the new partnership, the SMCCCD Study Abroad Program will take concrete, action-oriented steps to expand opportunities for study abroad. Some of these opportunities include offering faculty engagement workshops to provide more faculty-led study abroad programs, study abroad scholarship sessions at the College of San Mateo, Cañada College and Skyline College and launch a Community Travel Program to generate institutional scholarships for study abroad.
Initial benefits to the District of this partnership include access to study abroad scholarship opportunities, use of the Generation Study Abroad logo in marketing and outreach efforts, and free access for all District students, faculty and staff to the IIE publication “A Student Guide to Study Abroad” valued at $14.95 per copy.
As of November 2014, Generation Study Abroad partners to date include over 300 colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country and around the world, as well as 13 governments, 16 education associations, 67 international partners, and 56 study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad. Commitments include actions to diversity the population of students who participate in study abroad and provide additional financial resources to make this possible.
IIE launched Generation Study Abroad in 2014 in the belief that the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career, according to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange published by IIE with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade.
“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” says Dr. Allan Goodman, President of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”
About Generation Study Abroad
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to significantly increase study abroad participation by bringing employers, governments, associations, and others together to build on current best practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing programs. Generation Study Abroad will sustain an ongoing dialogue about the need for more students from all backgrounds and in all fields to gain international experience. This will include research to identify and break down barriers hindering students from studying abroad, communications to share strategies and best practices to increase study abroad, and fundraising to mobilize additional financial resources. IIE will also hold a Summit on Generation Study Abroad on October 1-2, 2015 in Washington, D.C. to engage stakeholders in higher education and all 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. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. 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. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.
Article by Zaid Ghori