The Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange , released November 16 by the Institute of International Education (IIE), highlights that five percent more American students – a total of 304,467 – studied abroad for academic credit from their U.S. colleges and universities in 2013/14 as compared with the prior year. While study abroad by American students has more than tripled in the last two decades, still only about 10% of U.S. students study abroad before graduating from college. According to the Open Doors Report, participation rate at Chapman is higher: 46% of undergraduate Chapman students participate in an international program before graduating, ranking #20 compared to other Master’s Institutions and #110 compared to all reporting 928 institutions.
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Nationwide, the biggest area of growth is short-term programs (8 weeks or less). During the 2013/14 academic year, 381 Chapman students participated in a short-term program abroad, ranking Chapman #19 in the nation compared to other Masters institutions. Currently, the Center for Global Education offers over 20 short-term Travel Courses, 90 semester abroad programs, and 7 international internship opportunities. Chapman students can use most of their federal, state, and institutional aid on approximately 90% of semester abroad programs and earn academic credit to fulfill their Chapman requirements. Students can apply for external scholarship as well. In 2013-14, five Pell Grant recipients were awarded the prestigious Gilman Scholarship for their semester abroad.
A growing trend at Chapman is students studying in non-traditional locations such as South Africa, Thailand, Morocco, and Bulgaria. Students are seeking out more unique experiences and intentionally selecting programs that are a good fit for their major, career goals, and personal interests. Non-traditional study abroad locations can set students apart on their resume and in job interviews. New semester program opportunities through the Center for Global Education are located in Latin America, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, South Korea, and Japan.
As a commitment partner of IIE Generation Study Abroad initiative, whose goal is to double the number of students who study abroad, the Center for Global Education has focused on increasing study abroad participation through outreach to diverse students and exploring non-traditional locations for study abroad. IIE’s initiative would increase American student participation to 600,000 individuals by 2020. Less than 25 percent of study abroad students nationwide are from underrepresented minority groups. Chapman University emphasizes the importance of global awareness and believes that a study abroad experience enhances a student’s global outlook, personal development and overall education.
Leading up to the release of Chapman University’s rankings in education abroad, the Center for Global Education (CGE) highlighted its study abroad opportunities and accomplishments during the national celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. Held November 2-7, the CGE hosted an international food fair, art displays, international dialogues, and an evening celebrating study abroad photo contest winners and a presentation on travel writing and photography. The CGE plans to hold International Education Week every year to bring awareness to the Chapman community.