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UW-Eau Claire's Study Abroad Program
Among the Strongest in the United States
MAILED: Sept. 21, 1999|
When it comes to sending American students to study abroad, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is among the leaders in the United States, according to the Institute of International Education and the Association of International Educators.
UW-Eau Claire was recognized by the organizations as one of 120 leadership schools in the United States in sending U.S. students abroad, with UW-Eau Claire and 107 other institutions collectively enrolling almost half of American students who study outside the United States.
"It's always nice to learn through an external evaluator that our university ranks in the top 120 of the 3,700 or so colleges and universities in the United States for sending American students abroad," said Karl Markgraf, director of the Center for International Education at UW-Eau Claire.
Participation in study abroad programs has been increasing steadily at UW-Eau Claire during the past five years, said Cheryl Lochner-Wright, study abroad coordinator at UW-Eau Claire. About 10 percent of a UW-Eau Claire graduating class will have studied abroad, compared to 2-3 percent of students nationwide, she said.
"Students gain in a number of ways from study abroad," Lochner-Wright said. "They learn to see themselves, the United States, and their academic discipline from different perspectives. They gain independence and self-confidence. And even if they never intend to work internationally, having study abroad on a resume can demonstrate to potential employers that this person is flexible, open-minded and willing to try new things."
But in recent years the international education picture has become more complex and the need for more timely information is becoming increasingly important, NAFSA and IIE representatives stated in a letter asking for UW-Eau Claire's participation in their new data collection initiative. In addition, the information needs of the field have begun to move beyond the basic data about study abroad participation that past surveys have collected, the organization representatives stated.
Because of its leadership role in international education, UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education was asked by NAFSA and IIE to participate in a series of national surveys to help identify issues involving education abroad.
UW-Eau Claire and the other leadership institutions identified by the organizations will be asked to respond to six e-mail surveys to help develop a source of timely national data on the flow of these students. The organizations will later disseminate the findings of the surveys.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Sept. 22, 1999