More DCCC students are studying abroad, thanks in part to a national campaign to help colleges and universities to set clear goals and measurable actions to increase the number and diversity of American college students who study abroad by 2020. At its 2016 Summit in Washington, D.C., this week, IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative recognized Davidson County Community College and 11 other U.S. higher education institutions that have already exceeded their goals to boost study abroad participation. DCCC is among the first higher education institutions to meet or exceed their goals among the more than 700 colleges and organizations that have joined Generation Study Abroad since its launch two years ago.
Evidence indicates that students who study abroad have better grades, experience less attrition, and graduate from college at higher rates than students who do not study abroad. They are also shown to have a competitive edge on the job market – yet fewer than 10% of American undergraduates study abroad, and only one quarter of those are from underrepresented groups. In recent years, the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange has shown modest increases in study abroad, but it will take bold action to reach the ambitious goal of doubling study abroad.
Davidson County Community College exceeded its Generation Study Abroad commitment by finding innovative ways to market their programs to students who normally would not consider studying abroad.
“Study abroad is not a vacation. It is a life-changing educational experience that impacts a student in positive ways for the rest of his or her life,” says Suzanne LaVenture, DCCC’s Director of International Education. “Students who study abroad graduate at higher rates, find jobs at higher rates, and earn higher salaries over their lifetimes. It’s an investment with long-paying dividends.”
On Wednesday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., DCCC will host the Passport Caravan sponsored by the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE). Earlier in the semester, more than 300 students applied for the opportunity to be one of 68 winners selected to apply for a passport free of charge at the event. Once issued, U.S. passports last for ten years, providing students a decade of possibilities to study, live, work, and travel outside of the United States. The Passport Caravan is part of CIEE’s support of Generation Study Abroad. Generation Study Abroad focuses on breaking down the three major barriers to study abroad: cost, curriculum, and culture. Over the next five years, CIEE plans to sponsor passports for 10,000 students around the country.
Davidson County Community College joins the following universities and colleges that have met their Generation Study Abroad commitments: the College of Charleston, Knox College, Lamar University, Pellissippi State Community College, Sacred Heart University, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Plattsburg, The New School, University of South Alabama, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Upper Iowa University. The diversity of the 12 higher education institutions that have met or exceeded their goals early demonstrate how all institutional types – community colleges, arts schools, private liberal arts colleges, and public research universities alike – can incorporate study abroad into the American undergraduate experience. To learn more about each campus’s strategy for exceeding its Generation Study Abroad commitment, please visit www.generationstudyabroad.org.
“Just two years after joining Generation Study Abroad, colleges and universities across the country are seeing measurable results in their study abroad participation rates,” said Allan Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education (IIE), the nonprofit that leads the initiative. “Studying abroad is one of the best ways to prepare to enter and succeed in the interconnected, globalized workforce, yet 90% of American college students do not study or intern outside of the United States. We owe it to the next generation of Americans to explain why study abroad is more crucial than ever and to find ways to make it more accessible to a wider range of students.”
Photo: DCCC students studying abroad in Ireland.
About CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange
Founded in 1947, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, serving more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and more than 35,000 international exchange students each year. CIEE operates 61 study centers in 43 countries, sponsors international faculty training programs, and teaches abroad programs, along with various specialty and custom programs for secondary, post-secondary, and international students. Visit www.ciee.org.
About the Institute of International Education (IIE)
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. Our international approach to education — diverse, borderless, impactful — is a proven way for governments and companies to invest in global talent and solidify overseas relationships. We work with policymakers, educators, and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE designs and implements more than 250 programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals, and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and more than 1,400 member institutions.
About Generation Study Abroad®
Generation Study Abroad® is a five-year initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE) to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. More than 700 partners have joined the Generation Study Abroad initiative to date, including 400 U.S. colleges and universities from 48 states, as well as higher education institutions and organizations in other countries; education associations; organizations including study abroad, K-12, and social network agencies; and 19 country partners. The initiative highlights IIE’s commitment to study abroad and to encourage purposeful, innovative action to get more Americans to undertake a meaningful international experience through academic study abroad programs, as well as internships, service learning, and non-credit educational experiences.