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UW-Eau Claire continues to be leader in sending students to study abroad

December 6, 2013

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire continues to be a leader in sending students abroad, according to the 2013 Open Doors Report of the Institute for International Education.

UW-Eau Claire sends more students abroad for midlength study-abroad experiences than any other master's-level university in Wisconsin, according to the report.

With 255 students participating in midlength study abroad programs in 2011-12 (the academic year data used in the 2013 report), UW-Eau Claire ranks 14th nationally among all master's-level schools in the number of students who participate in quarterlong or semesterlong study-abroad programs, according to the Open Doors Report. UW-Eau Claire is the only Wisconsin school — public or private — included on the top-20 list of master's-level schools that send students on midlength programs.

The Open Doors Report also ranks UW-Eau Claire 35th nationally among all master's-level schools in overall numbers of students who study abroad, with 415 students studying abroad during the 2011-12 academic year.

"UW-Eau Claire students have long recognized that studying abroad can help them better understand the world's economies, politics and cultures," said Dr. Karl Markgraf, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education. "Our students understand that they need to be globally aware and comfortable in other cultures given the increasingly interconnected world in which they will live and work."

UW-Eau Claire currently has 51 study abroad programs in 27 countries, as well as three programs that either send students to multiple countries or send them to different destinations depending on student interests or the timing of their enrollment.

While student interest has remained strong in some of the long-offered study abroad destinations, students also are embracing programs in new countries or parts of the world, said Cheryl Lochner-Wright, study abroad coordinator. For example, a new program in Italy is attracting a lot of student interest, and students are expressing interest in two new exchange programs in Hong Kong, she said.

A significant number of UW-Eau Claire students also study abroad in Central America, said Colleen Marchwick, study abroad coordinator.

"Interest is high in that region because of our Costa Rica programs, and the strength of programs in Spanish and Latin American studies on our campus," Marchwick said.

UW-Eau Claire students who study abroad are increasingly interested in ensuring that the credits they earn abroad will help them stay on track academically, Marchwick said.

"I think, more than ever, students are focused on earning credit while studying abroad that advances their degree program, whether that's meeting their general education requirements or earning credits that are required for their majors or minors," Marchwick said. "While students understand the value of studying abroad, they don't want to delay their graduation. So they look for programs that will keep them moving toward their degree while also giving them an international experience."

For more information about the Open Doors Report or UW-Eau Claire's international programs, contact Dr. Karl Markgraf at 715-836-4411 or




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