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Drake joins Institute of International Education Coalition to increase the number of students who study abroad

March 4, 2014

Drake University has pledged to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. Drake has committed to doubling the annual number of Drake students who study abroad by the end of the decade.

Leading up to IIE’s centennial celebration in 2019, Generation Study Abroad will engage educators at all levels and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive meaningful, innovative action to increase the number of U.S. students who have the opportunity to gain international experience through academic study abroad programs, as well as internships, service learning, and non-credit educational experiences.

Drake is among the lead partners who have committed to specific, measureable actions that will help reach this ambitious goal. The result will be thousands more American students graduating with the international experience necessary for success in a globalized world.

Drake students already participate in education abroad at a rate that is almost double the national average. They can choose among a wide variety of options including 20 international short-courses taught by Drake faculty members, and semester or year-long programs in over 70 countries from Argentina to Wales.

As part of this initiative, Drake University is partnering with alumni to increase its commitment to providing financial support for study abroad opportunities for students. This includes an additional $85,000 per year provided through the newly established Olson Global Service Learning Endowment, Paul Thibodeau Travel Scholarship for Global Citizenship, Allen Service-Learning Travel Scholarship, and Zimpleman Global Experiential Learning Scholarship. These additional funds will increase Drake’s study abroad participation to over 525 students per year, while also placing an emphasis on hands-on learning. opportunities

“As Drake develops its Vision 2020 for Internationalization and Global Engagement, we are reaffirming our promise of graduating globally responsible citizens,” says Christa Olson, vice provost for international programs and professor for the Studty of Cultural and Society at Drake University. “Two of the features include creating global talent and facilitating intercultural engagement. We can only achieve these goals by redoubling our efforts to provide high impact global and intercultural learning experiences. The IIE Generation Study Abroad campaign aligns wonderfully with our vision. We are delighted to join a network of institutional, governmental, and organizational partners that are committed to achieving these ambitious goals.”

More than 150 higher education institutions from 41 U.S. states have already signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment, including large state and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. Drake is one of only two Iowa institutions that have accepted the challenge.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and several foreign governments, as well as key higher education associations and study abroad provider organizations, have also pledged to support the goals of the initiative. Recognizing the importance of an internationally focused workforce, IIE is also actively seeking the participation of corporations and the business community.

“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.”

IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad because 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 released by IIE last November with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 295,000 students studied abroad in 2011–2012 in credit-bearing and non-credit programs. 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.

Visit www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad for more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners.