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UW-Eau Claire ranks high in Open Doors study-abroad report

RELEASED: Nov. 22, 2011

Open Doors
Open Doors
Courtney Allen, pictured in China, and Nicholas Goffard, pictured in Australia, are among the many UW-Eau Claire students who have studied abroad. The 2011 Open Doors report has ranked UW-Eau Claire the highest among master's-level schools statewide for its number of students who study abroad for a semester or longer.

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire continues to send more students abroad for midlength study-abroad experiences than any other master's-level university in Wisconsin, according to the 2011 Open Doors Report of the Institute for International Education.

UW-Eau Claire ranks 10th nationally among all master's-level schools in the number of students who participate in midlength (quarterlong or semesterlong) study-abroad programs, according to the Open Doors Report, which was released this week. UW-Eau Claire is the only Wisconsin school — public or private — on the top-20 list of master's-level schools that send students on midlength programs.

The report uses 2009-10 data to make its rankings, said Dr. Karl Markgraf, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education, noting that 296 students who studied abroad that year participated in midlength programs.

"UW-Eau Claire students continue to realize the necessity of incorporating an international experience in their academic program," Markgraf said. "They know that the world's economies, politics and cultures are increasingly globalized. Today, a well-prepared student is one who has had international learning and living experience. Study abroad is essential in preparing today's students for their careers."

The Open Doors Report also ranked UW-Eau Claire 27th nationally among all master's-level schools in overall numbers of students who study abroad.

UW-Eau Claire had a total of 449 students studying abroad during the 2009-10 academic year, up from the 392 students who participated in study abroad during 2008-09, according to the Open Doors Report.

Markgraf said anxiety over the economy appears to have been the largest factor in the lower number of students participating in study abroad during 2008-09. So far the number of participants in 2011-12 study-abroad programs is up compared to 2009-10, as is the projected number of study-abroad participants for 2012-13, Markgraf said.

UW-Eau Claire currently offers study abroad programs in nearly 30 countries throughout the world, Markgraf said. He noted that in addition to traditional study-abroad programs, students participate with faculty in research, service and creative arts programs abroad through the university's International Fellows Program, which is expanding the array of students' study-abroad destinations.

The International Fellows Program sends students, in partnership with faculty and staff mentors, abroad for intense three-week international learning experiences. The program is supported by the Blugold Commitment, a program through which differential tuition paid by UW-Eau Claire students funds projects that enhance student learning.

For more information about the 2011 Open Doors Report or UW-Eau Claire's international programs, contact Dr. Karl Markgraf at 715-836-4411 or markgraf@uwec.edu.

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JP/DW

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