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Saturday, September 24, 2022

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Erin de Leon in London Erin de Leon in London

A Study Abroad Leader, SDSU Ranks No. 8 Among U.S. Universities

More than 2,600 students had an international experience in 2015-16.
By Coleen L. Geraghty

San Diego State University moved up to No. 8 among all U.S. universities for the number of students electing to study abroad.

This is SDSU’s highest-ever ranking in the annual Open Doors report and is the result of a sustained effort to encourage international experiences for all students.
The report is published by the nonprofit Institute for International Education (IIE) with grant support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

SDSU ranked No. 8 among all universities and No. 6 among public research universities in this year’s report—higher than the University of California, Los Angeles; Arizona State University; the University of Washington and Penn State University. SDSU ranked No. 9 in the 2016 report.

350 study abroad programs

This year’s Open Doors report ranks universities based on study abroad numbers for 2015-16. During that academic years, 2,659 SDSU students studied abroad in more than 70 different countries.

The most popular destinations were Spain, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, China, Costa Rica, Guatemala, France and Thailand. With more than 350 study abroad programs to choose from, SDSU students can participate in academically challenging, professionally relevant and personally engaging experiences.

“SDSU has promoted study abroad for two decades because of its transformational effect,” said SDSU President Sally Roush. “We know that students return from their international experiences with a renewed commitment to their education and a clearer understanding of the global economy.”

Numbers released by SDSU’s Office of International Programs in early November this year show that a record 3,039 SDSU students had an international experience in 2016-17, a 14 percent increase from the previous year and an indication that SDSU may continue to rise in the IIE rankings.

While SDSU maintained strong numbers in study abroad programs lasting 10 weeks or more (889 in 2016-17 compared to 895 in 2015-16), other types of programs also saw significant growth. In 2016-17, service learning and volunteer programs attracted 299 students, up from 39 the previous year.

Financial aid available

Study abroad at SDSU encompasses a broad range of international activities, including studying at a foreign university, traveling with a faculty member as part of a course or participating in internships, volunteer programs and research experiences.

Increasing high-impact experiences such as study abroad are an important focus of SDSU’s strategic plan, Building on Excellence. Thirty-one majors across six colleges—including all majors in the College of Health and Human Services and the Weber Honors College—now have an international experience requirement. Financial aid is available for many SDSU students with ambitions to study abroad.

"The faculty deserve credit for creating and leading many of our study abroad programs," said Chukuka S. Enwemeka, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. "Their commitment encourages students to participate in international experiences, which contribute to student success and engagement."

More about Open Doors

The IIE reported that about 10 percent of all U.S. students study abroad during their undergraduate education. Study abroad by American students has more than tripled in the past two decades, the IIE said.  The top destinations for all students in 2015-16 were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, China, Ireland, Australia, Costa Rica and Japan.

In addition to encouraging U.S. students to study abroad, universities are welcoming increasing numbers of international students. In 2016/17, for the second consecutive year, U.S. colleges and universities hosted more than one million international students, according to the IIE. This marks the 11th consecutive year of continued growth in the total number of international students enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education.

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