A 2011 summer research program in ecology took students to Costa Rica, where they met insects like this giant walking stick.

Global education leader

Nearly 40 percent of UD students study abroad

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8:22 a.m., Nov. 16, 2011--The University of Delaware ranks fourth among the top public doctorate-granting institutions in the United States in the percentage of its students who study abroad, according to the 2011 Open Doors report issued by the Institute for International Education (IIE).

The report, which is supported by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, is based on a survey of approximately 3,000 accredited U.S. institutions. It provides information on U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit at their home colleges or universities, and international students and scholars studying or teaching at higher education institutions in the United States.

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More than one in three UD students (38.1 percent) pursued “short-term” study abroad of eight weeks or less during the 2009–2010 academic year, exceeded only by the College of William and Mary (43.9 percent), Ohio’s Miami University (40.7 percent) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (39.2 percent) among public, doctoral/research institutions. 

Overall, among the top 20 doctoral institutions, both public and private, UD ranked 11th in short-term study abroad participation.

Of the 3,615 UD students who were awarded undergraduate degrees in 2009–2010, a total of 1,377 had pursued studies internationally.

“Educating truly global citizens with an awareness and understanding of other cultures and world issues is a continuing commitment at the University of Delaware and part of our Path to Prominence,” said Deputy Provost Nancy Brickhouse. “The latest data from Open Doors underscores the dedication and effort of our UD faculty and staff to broaden the world experience of our students through educational programs overseas with international partners, in addition to globalization programs right here on campus.”

Currently, UD offers more than 80 study-abroad programs in over 45 countries, and has academic partnerships and programs on every continent. 

“Despite the economic downturn, more than one-third of UD students study abroad, and we are committed to helping students pursue this opportunity,” said Matthew Robinson, director of the Institute for Global Studies (IGS) and professor of business administration. “The University, through the IGS, awards over $700,000 in both merit- and needs-based scholarships to students for study abroad, and many departments also offer scholarships to their students.”

UD also is the leading academic destination in Delaware for international students, according to Open Doors. Delaware ranked 38th in the nation in the number of foreign students. Of the 3,825 international students in Delaware during the past year (up 27.3 percent over the previous year), UD had the highest number — 3,027 students — followed by Goldey Beacom College with 422.

The leading places of origin for international students in Delaware included China (46.1 percent), India (11.4 percent), Saudi Arabia (7.8 percent), South Korea (6.7 percent) and Turkey (5.2 percent).

International students contributed an estimated $102.1 million to Delaware’s economy, according to the report. 

The release of IIE’s Open Doors report coincides with UD’s celebration of International Education Week, which includes a variety of activities across campus, from lectures to global dance, an international food festival, fashion and talent show, and a reception for UD global leaders.

Article by Tracey Bryant

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