San Diego, California - San Diego State University students are leading the way when it comes to studying abroad. The Institute for International Education’s Open Doors report, released Monday, lists SDSU at No. 9 in the nation for study abroad.
The report uses data for the 2014-15 academic year, during which 2,422 students studied in foreign countries. In the most recent academic year, 2015-16, a record number of 2,660 students studied abroad.
The Open Doors ranking takes into account the total number of students studying abroad. When compared to the percentage of university enrollment, SDSU ranks No. 1 for public universities. More than seven percent of SDSU students studied abroad during the 2014-15 academic year.
"Having the opportunity to explore the world during their college years is a transformational experience for our students," said SDSU Vice President for Student Affairs Eric Rivera. “This is especially true for students who have not spent time in another country, which is why it is important that we provide the opportunity for all students to study abroad. The skills, perspectives, and friendships made during their time abroad will stay with them for a lifetime."
Increasing participation in study abroad programs is a central part of the university’s strategic plan, Building on Excellence.
“Study abroad opportunities are an integral part of student engagement and student success,” said Chukuka S. Enwemeka, provost and senior vice president. “The university’s goal is to offer a broad variety of programs so that every student who wishes to broaden his or her horizon and experience a different culture and learning environment can make that dream a reality.”
Where Aztecs go
SDSU students studied in 65 different countries during the 2014-15 academic year. The top five most popular destinations were Spain, Mexico, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany. With more than 350 study abroad programs to choose from, SDSU students can participate in academically challenging, professionally relevant and personally engaging experiences.
SDSU’s study abroad programs can be tailored to the individual needs and goals of the participants. Students can select from options including spring break, summer, semester or year-long study programs at a foreign university. Exchange, research and internship programs are also available.
“Providing an international education has been a central part of SDSU’s mission for many years,” said Alan Sweedler, associate vice president for Academic Affairs - International Programs. “Study abroad programs expose students to the global work environment and offer them experiences that are highly sought after by today’s employers.”
Open Doors report
The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education, an independent, non-profit organization, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The annual statistical survey reports on the number of international scholars at U.S. universities, international students enrolled in pre-academic Intensive English Programs, and U.S. students studying abroad.
According to the Open Doors report, a total of 313,415 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit in 2014-15, an increase of nearly three percent over the previous year. The majority of study abroad programs, about 63 percent, lasted eight weeks or less. About a third lasted one semester, and 2.5 percent of programs were long-term study abroad programs.
The release of the Open Doors report coincides with the start of International Education Week. It’s an initiative to prepare American students for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.
SDSU will host a number of events for International Education Week through Friday.