University to Create More Study Abroad Opportunities
Syracuse University has partnered with Generation Study Abroad in order to provide more international opportunities for students.
While almost half of all Syracuse University students take part in study abroad programs, the University is looking to create opportunities that are available for all students, especially veterans, first-generation students and those in STEM and health studies.
“Education abroad—studying, researching interning—is a key part of furthering students’ capacities to be successful in the globalized world, and employers are looking for those knowledges, intercultural competences and global curiosities,” says Margaret Himley, associate provost for international education and engagement and professor in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Syracuse University reports that 48 percent of all students take part in study abroad programs, which is well above the national average of 10 percent. However, Himley says that this partnership is focused on opening opportunities to more students, especially those who think it is out of their reach financially or doesn’t fit into their program of study.
“We want to be sure that all students understand the value of study abroad to their education, and we want to make it possible for all students to do this,” she says. “We want veterans to understand the financial support they have through their post 9/11 GI Bill to study abroad, first-generation students to understand that study abroad is affordable and useful and STEM students to understand where they can go—through our centers and through world partners—to continue progress toward their degree while studying abroad.”
Under the new partnership, the University will take steps to expand opportunities for study abroad, including more scholarships and ‘cost neutral’ financial aid packages, new courses abroad that add an international dimension to students’ fields of study and opportunities to study a theme transnationally.
“We are preparing students to be global scholars and leaders,” says Himley. “Students who study abroad have greater literacy in the economic, political, social and cultural systems of the world. They learn a second (or third) language, and have increased their ability to communicate and work with those from different countries and cultures. On internships they gain practical knowledge of what it means to be a professional in a different national context.”
The Study Abroad office is now collaborating with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs to create more scholarship and grant options. Additionally, they want to start working with students at the beginning of their studies at the University in order for them to plan for their education abroad.
Syracuse University Abroad currently has 100 programs in 60 countries, and sends about 2,200 student abroad to study, research and do internships, through its eight centers—London, Strasbourg, Florence, Madrid, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Santiago, Chile—as well as its more than 35 summer and short-term programs, mostly faculty-led, and over 60 world partner programs.
Generation Study Abroad is a program of the Institute of International Education (IIE), a private nonprofit, in order to increase the number of graduates with educational experience abroad. 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 to 600,000 students 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 Allan Goodman, president of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”
As of November 2014, participating Generation Study Abroad partners include more 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 that 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.