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Ohio State joins initiative to double number of students studying abroad

The Ohio State University has joined Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative launched by the Institute of International Education to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad by the end of the decade.

Joining Generation Study Abroad will help Ohio State engage educators, governments, associations and others to drive meaningful action to increase the number of students who have the opportunity to gain international experience through academic study abroad programs.

Ohio State is currently ranked 14th in the nation in the number of students studying abroad. Study abroad enrollment figures significantly increased from 1,716 in 2011-12 to 2,426 in 2012-13.

“Ohio State is committed to lifting study abroad to new heights by engaging our faculty university-wide and offering new and innovative programs that will exponentially benefit our students no matter their discipline.” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs.

The Institute of International Education is investing $2 million in the initiative and seeking funds to provide scholarships to students. Ohio State has developed several strategies to increase the numbers of students currently studying abroad by 5 percent each year through 2019-20.

Generation Study Abroad strategies:

  • Continue to introduce new Global May programs to attract first and second year students of any major. Global May programs are four-week courses taught in-country (China, Brazil, Hungary, Uganda, Mexico, Great Britain and Morocco – new in 2014) that focus on the history, culture, current events and major issues of one specific country or region with classroom instruction in English.
  • Implement the new study abroad registration/budget model which flows study abroad revenues/enrollments to the colleges, thereby providing additional incentives to the colleges to increase the number of study abroad programs within their respective fields of study.
  • Continue outreach to and develop specific initiatives with underrepresented student populations (for study abroad): STEM students, athletes, males, and additional underrepresented student populations as defined by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Increase collaboration with academic units to assist in defining and executing unit goals for study abroad.
  • Foster the partnership with the Second-year Transformational Experience Program (STEP).
  • Expand the Global Option, a curriculum enhancement that allows students to integrate international knowledge into their major without adding time to graduation.

“We are confident that these strategies will help Ohio State achieve our goal of increasing the number of undergraduate students studying abroad, and we are proud to be a part of the Institute of International Education’s noble mission,” said Brustein.

More than 150 higher education institutions from 41 U.S. states have signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment. The initiative will lead up to the Institute of International Education’s centennial celebration in 2019.