Purdue Calumet commits to initiative to help double number of students studying abroad
HAMMOND, Ind. — Purdue University Calumet 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.
Fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic careers.
“Study abroad is one of the components of Purdue Calumet’s experiential learning initiative and a valuable opportunity by which students can respond to our university strategic goal of learning through engagement and discovery,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon said. “The learning realized by the cultural immersion of study abroad provides a rich benefit to the Purdue education available to our students in their preparation to contribute to our global society.”
In an effort to double the number of Purdue Calumet undergraduate students who study abroad, the university will use input from current students, alumni, faculty members and staff focus groups to develop and enhance programs.
Leading up to IIE’s 2019 centennial celebration, Generation Study Abroad will engage educators and stakeholders in public and private sectors to take action that increases the number of U.S. students who gain international experience through academic study abroad programs, internships, service learning and non-credit educational experiences.
Purdue Calumet is among the lead partners that have committed to specific, measureable actions to help reach this goal, the result of which will be thousands more American students graduating with valuable international experience necessary for success in a globalized world.
“We decided to commit to this initiative during the first call for participation, as it will provide a substantive goal toward which we will work for the rest of this decade,” Purdue Calumet Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Affairs Dallas Kenny said. “Less than 1 percent of American Purdue University Calumet students study abroad, while 725 students from 45 nations are pursuing their education as members of the Purdue Calumet community this spring. It is vital that many more American Purdue Calumet students gain international experience themselves.”
Building on its nearly 100-year commitment to study abroad, IIE has committed $2 million of its own funds to this initiative over the next five years.
Purdue Calumet plans to devise funding methods to increase affordability for its students.
Kenny added, “At Purdue Calumet, we believe that a study abroad experience enhances a student’s global outlook and overall education. The current strategic plan of the university includes goals of enhancing study abroad opportunities and fostering intercultural awareness. We work to provide distinguishing learning experiences through faculty-led programs abroad, as well as in conjunction with organizations such as EF (Education First), ISA (International Studies Abroad) and ISEP (International Student Exchange Programs). Students are eligible to apply for study abroad scholarships and can apply their financial aid to their program.”
More than 150 higher educational institutions from 41 U.S. states have signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment, including large state and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions.
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, also have pledged to support the goals of the initiative. Recognizing the importance of an internationally focused workforce, IIE also is seeking participation from 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,” IIE President Allan Goodman said. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”
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, 95,000 students studied abroad during 2011-12 in credit-bearing and non-credit programs. Generation Study Abroad aims to increase participation to 600,000 by the end of the decade.
Other information about IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, including a complete list of commitment partners, is available at: www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad.