On October 1-2, AACRAO participated in the inaugural IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad, which brought education, government and business leaders and journalists together in Washington, D.C., for action-oriented discussions on how to ensure international experience is a key part of a 21st Century education and make study abroad opportunities available to all.
Partipants in the summit engaged with the questions:
- How can study abroad be redefined and re-branded for today's global economy?
- What innovative solutions are most effective in increasing study abroad participation?
- How does study abroad build a globally-minded workforce?
- What is the impact of study abroad?
Conversations were wide ranging, with presentations on best practices, new government programs, and the need for additional outcomes research and tools to help institutions and students articulate the short- and long-range value of study abroad experiences on their personal and professional growth and development.
The summit also debuted the winners of the Generation Study Abroad video contest (embedded below), sharing a pair of truly life-changing and compelling examples of the impact of study abroad. Winners were Alejandro Alba and Christine O'Dea.
(Story continues after the videos...)
Increasing financial support for study abroad
IIE's Generation Study Abroad challenges partners to help double the number of U.S. students who study abroad by the end of the decade, to a total of approximately 600,000 students. AACRAO was an early partner with the movement, launched in March 2014. With 156 partners, Generation Study Abroad has grown to include more than 600 partners that have pledged a total of $185 million over the next five years in support to make study abroad more accessible to all students.
IIE’s Year One Impact Report highlighted that 84% of the U.S. colleges and universities participating plan to create or expand scholarships for underrepresented study abroad students, such as minority or ethnically diverse students or first generation students, and that 64% of the U.S. institutions participating are increasing the number of academic programs (certificates, minors or majors) that require or offer a study abroad component. IIE’s Open Doors report, released in mid-November, showed a growth of 5.4% in U.S. Study abroad participation in the 13/14 academic year.
How AACRAO is helping
AACRAO has pledged to use our network to help the movement reach new audiences, generate ideas and best practices, and offer services to members that will strengthen and highlight why international experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education. Our commitment includes increasing awareness, sharing study abroad information through our publications, and highlighting study abroad workshops and sessions at our meetings and conferences.
What you can do
It's not too late to become a partner, and there is no cost beyond what you pledge to do to grow study abroad awareness and participation at your campus. If your institution would like to become a partner in the Generation Study Abroad program, you can find out more on the Generation Study Abroad website.