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KU partners with Institute of International Education to increase study abroad participation

Thu, 03/06/2014

LAWRENCE — Already recognized as a national leader in study abroad, the University of Kansas has set a goal to significantly increase undergraduate participation in study abroad from 22.8 percent to 30 percent over the next five years. As part of that effort, KU is one of 156 charter members to partner with the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative, a five-year plan launched earlier this week to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad.

Generation Study Abroad will engage educators and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to increase the annual number of U.S. study abroad participants to 600,000 by 2020. IIE has committed $2 million to this initiative over the next five year and has established a Study Abroad Fund to provide scholarships to college students and grants to institutions.

“Our partnership with IIE will result in more KU graduates who have studied abroad and gained invaluable experience that will translate well in today’s global economy,” said Susan Gronbeck-Tedesco, associate vice provost for International Programs. “Our goal is not only to boost participation but to increase the number of students who participate in semester-long experiences. We will be working closely with departments across campus to meet this goal, in particular to integrate study abroad into curriculums to fulfill the KU Core.”

The KU Core, KU's first universitywide undergraduate curriculum, supports the university’s ambitious study abroad participation goals. The KU Core allows students to meet educational goals and learning outcomes while engaging in experiential learning, including new cultural experiences. Many study abroad opportunities will fulfill the Culture and Diversity learning outcome.

With 130 programs in countries, ranging from India to France, students have a wide variety of study abroad opportunities to choose from. KU is currently ranked 29th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad, according to the 2011-12 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Additionally, financial aid opportunities make international experiences attainable for more students. Students’ financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad.

According to a 2012 Open Doors report, only 10 percent of students who graduated with an associate's or baccalaureate degree participated in a study abroad experience. Although 156 higher education institutions from 41 states have already signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment, IIE hopes to expand institutional commitment to 500 in order to increase this percentage. Recognizing the importance of an internationally focused workforce, IIE is actively seeking the participation of 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,” 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.”

By partnering with IIE, KU can work with institutions around the nation to raise awareness about the importance of foreign language and cultural skills, identify and break down the barriers to study abroad participation, share best practices to increase international experiences among students and mobilize additional financial resources for study abroad. 



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

Get tickets: http://t.co/YTqcNobkFb MT @liedcenterks : Insights on "Kiss the Fish" from Anthea Scouffas: http://t.co/YlictwH8a9
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


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