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Published: November 19, 2014

UT Joins Generation Study Abroad Initiative

The University of Tampa has joined the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans to gain international experience through study abroad programs.

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade.

Through UT’s affiliates and partnerships, UT undergraduate students have access to more than 1,000 education abroad opportunities in 70 countries. Over an eight-year period, UT has seen a 360-percent increase in students participating in education abroad. UT does not limit the experience to certain majors or only to a select number of programs.

According to Marca Bear, associate dean of the Office of International Programs, UT prioritizes education abroad opportunities that strengthen students’ professional skills and career paths. In addition to traditional semester and yearlong programs, UT takes pride in the portfolio of affordable international internships, travel courses and service learning opportunities that incorporate practical, first-hand experience with an academic focus.

“By joining Generation Study Abroad, UT’s commitment to reach even more students is an important endeavor,” said Bear. “Specifically, we aim to increase participation numbers significantly within under-represented student populations.”

UT is one of 142 new commitments announced by IIE on Nov. 17, bringing the total Generation Study Abroad coalition to 450 partners.

IIE launched Generation Study Abroad early this year in the belief that the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career, according to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange published by IIE with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade.

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” says Allan Goodman, president of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

Generation Study Abroad partners to date include 298 colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country and around the world, as well as 13 governments, 16 education associations, 67 international partners, and 56 study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad. Commitments include actions to diversify the population of students who participate in study abroad and provide additional financial resources to make this possible.