CIEE: The Council on International Educational Exchange today announced a commitment to tackle the major barriers that keep students from studying abroad – cost, curriculum, and culture – with a centerpiece pledge of $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students through the Generation Study Abroad™ initiative. CIEE will also sponsor passports for 10,000 students to enable participation, and make an annual $20,000 grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches for custom study abroad programs.
“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders. CIEE’s greatly expanded outreach and scholarship offerings will make a significant contribution to expanding and diversifying the population of students who have the opportunity to study abroad,” said Institute of International Education President and Chief Executive Officer Allan E. Goodman.
Data shows that fewer than 300,000 U.S. students per year study abroad, which means that less than 10 percent of all U.S. college students experience international education before they graduate. The Generation Study Abroad initiative was launched earlier in 2014 and challenges institutions of higher education, governments, and associations to support study abroad and to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of this decade.
“Faculty and students alike consistently report their study abroad experiences are full of life changing, ah-ha moments,” James Pellow, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE. “Part of that change includes the realization that people in different countries, with different cultures and customs, are in many ways very similar to themselves. They are striving for a better life, for healthier children, for a more a peaceful world. This revelation helps students broaden their worldview and become more effective leaders of business, education, healthcare, politics and government.”
CIEE will announce complete details of its commitment to Generation Study Abroad at the CIEE Annual Conference, November 19-22 in Baltimore. With its theme, “Breaking Barriers: Cost, Curriculum, Culture,” this year’s conference is dedicated to gathering industry leaders and professionals to explore and generate new strategies that will help more students of all backgrounds benefit from study abroad.
“CIEE is ideally positioned to help Generation Study Abroad achieve its critical goal. We began more than 65 years ago with a mission to help faculty and students to gain an understanding, acquire knowledge and develop the skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world,” said David F. Fougere, chief operating officer, CIEE Study Abroad. “The ability to move comfortably among cultures makes a difference between college graduates landing a job and finding a path to lifelong career satisfaction. The Generation Study Abroad initiative takes on real and perceived beliefs surrounding cost, curriculum, and culture that are keeping students from studying abroad.”