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UW-Eau Claire Ranks 14th Nationally in Number
of Students Who Study Abroad

RELEASED: Nov. 13, 2007

Student Tiffany Gerber in Thailand
UW-Eau Claire journalism and history major Tiffany Gerber, who studied in Thailand, is one of the many UW-Eau Claire students who make studying abroad a part of their college experience. (Contributed photo)

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire ranks 14th nationally among all master's-level schools in the number of students who study abroad, according to the 2007 Open Doors Report of the Institute for International Education.

The 2007 Open Doors Report indicates that 484 UW-Eau Claire students studied abroad during the 2005-06 academic year, up from the previous year when 440 students participated in a study abroad program.

"Our students recognize that an international experience can contribute greatly to the quality of their college experience and to their future successes," said Karl Markgraf, director of the Center for International Education at UW-Eau Claire. "They're eager to learn about other countries and cultures, and they know their global skills will lead to more career opportunities after they graduate."

UW-Eau Claire's long-standing commitment to placing students in countries for months rather than weeks also sets it apart, according to the Open Doors Report. The report's "duration of study abroad" survey ranks UW-Eau Claire seventh nationally.

"Our programs allow students to live in countries long enough to learn about the country and culture," Markgraf said, noting that more than 70 percent of UW-Eau Claire students who study abroad go for at least a semester. "We integrate students into the local culture so they leave with a much deeper understanding of it. They also have time to make connections with people who live in the region, which may benefit them personally and professionally for years to come."

A growing number of UW-Eau Claire students are pursuing internships, service projects and research all over the world, Markgraf said. Often students make connections during semesters abroad that make those kinds of international opportunities possible, he said.

More students also are applying for highly competitive international programs, such as the Fulbright Scholars program, Markgraf said. UW-Eau Claire is among the top producers of 2007-08 U.S. Fulbright Fellows, according to the Fulbright Program.

"Many students come back from their study abroad program and immediately begin looking for other ways to add to those experiences," Markgraf said. "Through study abroad, they gain the experience and confidence they need to pursue opportunities they might not otherwise have considered."

The university currently offers study abroad programs in nearly 30 countries throughout the world, Markgraf said.

"The quality and diversity of our international programs is very appealing," Markgraf said. "And because the institution places a high value on these experiences, we're able to add programs as we identify new opportunities and new areas of student interest."

For more information about the 2007 Open Doors Report or UW-Eau Claire's international programs, contact Markgraf at 715-836-4411 or markgraf@uwec.edu.

-30-

JB

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