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IIE Makes Strides in Diversifying Study Abroad

The Atlantic’s “Next America: Higher Education” project recently highlighted IIE’s Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad to 6000,000 by the end of the decade. 

“Right now, only around 10 percent of American college students study abroad. While people of color make up about 40 percent of each graduating class, they comprise just a quarter of those who go abroad. The numbers are especially low for black and Latino students. So hundreds of schools across the country that have pledged millions of dollars and promised Generation Study Abroad, which is also dispersing grants and scholarships, that they will send more students abroad are focusing on reaching out specifically to students of color.”

At SUNY Oswego, a campaign called “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” has been a model for diversifying study abroad and making it part of the vocabulary for students across campus. Returned students lead panels discussing issues related to diversity in study abroad, navigating cultural and religious beliefs abroad, and other topics critical to student success. This peer-to-peer interaction is helping more students to consider making time abroad part of their college experience.

Generation Study Abroad has partnered with SUNY Oswego to help bring the “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” campaign to campuses across the country, and continues to expand their efforts to meet the goal of doubling study abroad by the end of the decade.

“If their efforts do cause a shift in the makeup of American students going abroad, not only do individual scholars stand to benefit, but so does the nation’s ability to interact with other countries in an increasingly global economy.”

If you are at the annual NAFSA conference in Denver this week, be sure to stop by IIE’s booth #1212 to learn more about how you can get on board with Generation Study Abroad and bring the “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” campaign to your campus.

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