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National Initiative Aims to Double Number of Students Studying Abroad by 2020

Continuing its commitment to present students with global opportunities, Valparaiso University has joined the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad initiative.

Valpo is already a member of the IIE network, and this initiative aligns closely with key University priorities.

“Generation Study Abroad is a wonderful opportunity for Valpo as we seek to increase the number of students who study abroad,” Julie Maddox, director of Study Abroad programs, said. “What’s really interesting about the initiative is that it’s a commitment by all these different universities to come together to make a difference in the lives of students and in education.”

According to a press release from IIE, Generation Study Abroad is a five-year initiative that brings leaders in education, business, and governments together to double the number of United States college students studying abroad. Each university that commits itself to the program must make a pledge to increase the number of their students who study abroad as well as take actions to develop new and expanded activities that will enable more students to study abroad.

Another primary goal of the initiative is to share what is working among higher education institutions such as Valparaiso University. Each university that joins the initiative will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers and share the strategies and practices that have improved Generation Study Abroad on their own campus.

“Our commitment is to increase our total undergraduate and graduate participation from 28 to 50 percent by 2020. We’re already in the top 40 Masters-level universities in the country that send a high percentage of undergraduate students abroad, but there’s more that we can do,” Maddox said.

By joining the initiative, Valpo doesn’t have to do it alone. The IIE will provide participating universities with the following: five to 10 grants per year for study-abroad scholarships to institutions who have made outstanding progress, recognition for members on IIE’s website, annual meetings to share successful strategies, and study-abroad resources and tools for office use as well as for incoming freshmen.

At Valpo, the University will develop a curriculum integration plan that intentionally incorporates long-term study abroad into learning objectives and graduation plans across the disciplines. It also aims to secure financial resources for students to undertake study abroad with sustainable funding.

“Studying abroad often transforms the student on many levels. It offers an intensive learning experience that helps students acquire the strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness needed to lead and serve in a global society,” Maddox said.

To learn more Valparaiso University’s commitment to Study Abroad, contact Julie Maddox at julie.maddox@valpo.edu or 219.464.5333.