Elon ranked #1 in study abroad

In its annual ranking, the Institute of International Education recognizes Elon for sending more students abroad than any other master’s-level university in the United States.

Elon University has earned a top ranking among the nation’s master’s-level universities for the number of students who traveled abroad during the 2013-14 academic year, according to a new report from the Institute of International Education.

Elon sent 1,346 students abroad during that time, helping it maintain its long-held #1 position among master’s-level institutions in the 2015 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. The university placed ahead of Villanova University, James Madison University and Appalachian State University at the top of the latest list.

The ranking reflects an Elon University strategic 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.

Elon’s growth in study abroad continued this fall with 518 students learning and interning away from campus, including 16 students in the university’s new Shanghai Center. Top destinations include London, Florence, Barcelona, Dublin, Berlin, Lyon, and New York City with the Study USA program.

Among members of the Class of 2015, 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 2015 Open Doors Report, Elon was also ranked #1 among master’s-level institutions in the number of students on mid-length programs, with 506 students participating, and was ranked #2 for short-term duration study abroad experiences.

IIE found that in the 2013-14 academic year, 304,467 American students studied abroad for academic credit, an increase of 5 percent. Study abroad by American students has grown significantly over the past two decades, from only about 71,000 students in 1991-92.

“We are excited to see that record numbers of students are taking advantage of international education opportunities, and we applaud the efforts of U.S. higher education as we work together to increase the number of American students who study abroad,” said Evan Ryan, assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “It is critical that we continue to make study abroad more accessible. These exchanges strengthen ties between the United States and countries around the world.

“By increasing accessibility to study abroad, we are investing in our future and providing a forum to solve global challenges.”

The Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange is published by the Institute of International Education, the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the United States.

IIE has conducted an annual statistical survey of campuses regarding the international students in the United States since 1919, and with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since the early 1970s. The census is based on a survey of approximately 3,000 accredited U.S. institutions.