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UW-Eau Claire a Leader
In Study Abroad Participation
MAILED: Jan. 27, 2003
EAU CLAIRE — Once again the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire sent more students abroad during the 2000-01 academic year than any other master's level institution in Wisconsin, according to the recently released 2002 Open Doors report of the Institute of International Education.
With 345 students studying abroad during the 2000-01 academic year, UW-Eau Claire was first in the state and 17th nationwide among similar institutions in the number of students studying abroad, the report states.
"This report highlights what a major player we are among study abroad programs," said Karl Markgraf, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education. "We're a national leader."
A new category in this year's report looks at the duration of students' study abroad experience. UW-Eau Claire ranked first in the state and third in the nation among similar institutions in the number of students studying abroad for at least a semester, the report states.
"Our philosophy has always been to encourage longer term study abroad experiences. These programs give students the opportunity to form strong relationships and a good understanding of the culture," Markgraf said.
Nationwide, the number of students studying abroad for credit during the 2000-01 increased 7.4 percent to a record total of 154,168, the Open Doors report states.
UW-Eau Claire's numbers have climbed in recent years as the university has added international programs and as students have come to understand the value of international experience, Markgraf said. Currently 21 percent of UW-Eau Claire students have a study abroad experience during their undergraduate program, compared to an estimated national average of 8 percent.
Even the Sept. 11 tragedy of 2001 did not have a negative effect on study abroad participation, Markgraf said. "By continuing with their international programs, our students are doing their part to ensure that terrorists don't succeed in their efforts to isolate Americans."
Students at UW-Eau Claire can choose from 23 international programs in 13 countries, including Costa Rica, France, Germany, Latvia, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, England, Ireland and Scotland.
For students who can't make a semester or longer commitment, there are some short-term study abroad options. These include an intensive two-week study tour in Vietnam during Winterim 2004, a program to study the tribal cultures of Thailand with a focus on Hmong cultures next summer and a program in South Africa in 2004.
The New York-based Institute of International Education, the leading educational and cultural exchange organization in the United States, publishes the Open Doors Report each year.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: January 24, 2003