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Elon leads the nation in study abroad

Elon sent 1,094 students abroad in the 2011-12 academic year, earning a #1 ranking among the nation's master's-level universities by the Institute of International Education.

JANUARY, 2013: Students in Brian Digre and Jason Aryeh's winter term course, Ghana: An Exploration of West Africa's History and Culture. (photo by Kim Walker)

Elon has maintained its long-held position as the nation's top master's-level university in the Open Doors 2013 report by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the leading indicator of top college international study programs. The latest IIE survey covered the 2011-12 academic year.

Elon was once again the #1 ranked master's-level university in the total number of students studying abroad, with 1,094 during the year. Elon ranked ahead of James Madison University, Villanova University and California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo.

"Study abroad is a signature program at Elon University and we take our leadership in international education very seriously," said Woody Pelton, dean of global studies. "We are continuing to expand our course offerings around the world, enhancing the academic and cultural experience, and we are working hard to make sure that every student has access to global engagement, regardless of their family finances or their academic major."

Seventeen students participated in the Peru 2011 winter term study abroad course, titled "The Living Heritage of the Andes: Language, Society and Culture in Peru."

The Elon Commitment strategic plan has set a goal of achieving 100 percent access to a global engagement experience by the year 2020, and the university is expanding financial aid to assist students who cannot afford the cost of study abroad.

Among members of the Class of 2013, 72 percent of Elon graduates had studied abroad at least once during their collegiate studies. Elon's high participation number compares with the national average of less than 10 percent with an international study experience – a percentage that has been steady for a number of years.

In the 2013 IIE report, Elon was also ranked #1 among master’s level institutions in the number of students on short-term programs, with 729 students participating, and was ranked #5 for mid-length study abroad experiences.

IIE found that in the 2011-12 academic year, 283,332 American students studied abroad for academic credit, an increase of three percent. Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades, from only about 71,000 students in 1991-92.

JANUARY, 2013: Students in Brian Digre and Jason Aryeh's winter term course, Ghana: An Exploration of West Africa's History and Culture. (photo by Kim Walker)

“International education promotes the relationship building and knowledge exchange between people and communities in the United States and around the world that are necessary to solve global challenges,” said Evan M. Ryan, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. “The connections made during international education experiences last a lifetime."

"The careers of all of our students will be global ones, in which they will need to function effectively in multi-national teams. They will need to understand the cultural differences and historical experiences that divide us, as well as the common values and humanity that unite us,” noted IIE’s President Allan Goodman.

The Open Doors Report is published by the Institute of International Education, an independent not-for-profit organization with a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE has conducted an annual statistical survey of the international students in the United States since its founding in 1919 and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1972.

Dan Anderson,
Staff
11/13/2013 3:35 PM