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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

SDSU Rises to No. 15 in Nation for Students Studying Abroad

The annual Open Doors Report ranks SDSU No. 15 nationally and No. 3 in California for sending students abroad.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Nov. 30, 2015) — San Diego State University ranks No. 15 among all universities in the country and No. 3 among California universities for the number of students studying abroad, according to the latest Institute for International Education’s Open Doors report.

A record 2,119 SDSU students studied internationally in 2013-14, the latest academic year for which Open Door report statistics are available. This number is 14 percent higher than in 2012-13, when SDSU sent 1,812 students abroad and ranked No. 22 nationally. Students studied abroad in programs that include spring break, summer, semester or year-long study at a foreign university, exchange programs and research or internship programs.

“An important mission of SDSU is internationalization, to provide students with many opportunities to experience cultural diversity, gain international awareness and have the ability to learn foreign languages. To be able to experience other nations and cultures through the study abroad programs at SDSU is a crucial part of student success before and after graduation,” said Chukuka S. Enwemeka, provost and senior vice president.

Where in the world?

Students from SDSU studied in 67 different countries across the globe, with the top five most popular countries being Spain, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. With more than 350 study abroad programs to choose from, SDSU students experience academically challenging, professionally relevant and personally engaging experiences abroad.

Increasing the number of students studying abroad is a goal of the university’s strategic plan, Building on Excellence. As part of the student success initiative, SDSU plans to increase the number of undergraduate students studying abroad to 30 percent of the overall student population.

“Students who have studied abroad find their lives transformed,” said Alan Sweedler, assistant vice president for international programs. “These learning experiences cannot be replicated by studying only domestically. They provide students with the ability to navigate the global workplace and make our graduates more desirable to employers.”

According to the Open Doors report, a total of 304,467 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit in 2013-14, an increase of more than 5 percent over the previous year. An additional 22,181 participated in non-credit work, internships and volunteering abroad.

The 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.

The latest Open Doors report also found the highest rate of growth in 35 years for international students at U.S. colleges and universities. In 2014-15, a total of 974,926 international students came to study in the U.S., an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.

The release of the new Open Doors data marks the celebration of International Education Week, an initiative to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

More of the Open Doors 2015 information is available on the Institute of International Education’s website.

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