Florida Tech Joins Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative
Effort is Part of University’s Internationalization Enhancements
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology has joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans gain international experience through study abroad programs.
The Institute, known as IIE, has 450 Generation Study Abroad Coalition partners, now including Florida Tech and more than 140 additional new commitments that were recently announced.
Florida Tech’s participation in the initiative comes as the university continues to enhance its study abroad offerings, with a goal of substantially increasing the number of its study abroad students by 2020.
As part of this push, the university recently added China as an international educational destination, joining existing locations in England (Oxford), Spain and the Netherlands.
“We are committed to creating more opportunities for our students to participate in study abroad programs,” said Monica Baloga, Florida Tech’s vice president for institutional effectiveness and international programs. “With more than 112 countries represented in our student body here, we see the positive impact for our students of education in a global environment, but there is still no substitute for the experience and impact of traveling overseas and being fully immersed in another place, another culture.”
There is a growing interest in studying abroad for students in the STEM disciplines, as many are at Florida Tech, according to IIE data released this month that examined the fields of study of American study abroad students.
While consistently representing more than 15 percent of all U.S. students studying abroad from 2000-01 through 2011-12, behind only business and management students and those studying social sciences, STEM majors in 2012-13 became the largest constituency, the study found.
In that year, they represented 22.5 percent of the nearly 300,000 U.S. students that studied abroad. Social science students were second at 22.1 percent, with business students at 20 percent.
“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” said Allan Goodman, president of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”
That’s why Florida Tech and Generation Study Abroad seek to mobilize resources and commitments: to grow the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade.
Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career, according to theOpen 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.
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 diversity the population of students who participate in study abroad and provide additional financial resources to make this possible.
Find additional data on study abroad programs at the Open Doors website.