San Diego State University ranks among the top 25 universities nationwide for the number of students studying abroad, according to the Institute for International Education’s new Open Doors Report released on Monday.
SDSU ranked No. 22 in the nation and third in California among all universities. SDSU also ranked first in California and second nationally for universities with the Carnegie classification “research university with high research activity.”
In 2009-10, the school year for which the ranking was based, 1,835 SDSU students studied in a different country. In 2008-09, 1,674 SDSU students studied abroad.
The increase is part of a national trend identified by the institute, which reported that study abroad is up at universities nationwide.
“For the increasingly interconnected world in which our students will be living and working, we can no longer provide a quality education without a strong international component,” said SDSU Provost Nancy Marlin. “Students understand that what they need to learn to compete in the global workplace cannot be achieved only inside the classroom.”
Preparing a global workforce
For SDSU graduate Cory Glazier (’09, International Security and Conflict Resolution), his study abroad experience in Africa inspired him to create his own business that trains volunteers to carry out community development and poverty alleviation worldwide.
"It was my time abroad that opened me to what was really happening in the world," Glazier said. "Once I had first-hand experience in developing counties I was able to chart a course for myself.
“While the books and the classrooms gave me the lens to look at the world through, my time in the world is where I found the opportunities to follow my passion and make a difference.”
Over the past decade, SDSU has made international study a central part of the educational experience for students. SDSU offers over 335 education abroad programs in 52 different countries. There are 34 academic programs or majors in which study abroad is a graduation requirement, including international business and all majors in the College of Health and Human Services.
SDSU continues to expand its international offerings and most recently established a partnership with Bahçesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey. The first cohort from the College of Business Administration will travel there in spring 2012.
Most popular destinations
The 10 most popular destinations for SDSU students studying abroad in 2009-2010 included Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.
According to the Institute for International Education, the most popular destinations for students nationally remained the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and China. However, more students were also travelling to less traditional destinations like Israel, Brazil, New Zealand and Egypt.
SDSU had 20 students travel to Tanzania, Africa to build a library for students in the small town of Kwonga.
Not only are SDSU students travelling the globe, but SDSU remains a top destination for students worldwide. During the 2010-11 school year, SDSU had 1,752 international students from 100 countries with the largest majority from the Asian countries of India, Japan and China.
Nationally, the Institute for International Education reports new international student enrollment – students enrolling for the first time at a U.S. institution during the 2010-11 school year – increased five percent over the previous year. Nationally, the number of students from China studying at U.S. universities has increased substantially – by 22 percent in total and by 43 percent at the undergraduate level. At SDSU, the number of students from China has increased five percent over the past year and approximately 25 percent since 2006.
The complete Open Doors report can be found at http://www.iie.org/opendoors.