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UW-Eau Claire continues as national leader in study abroad

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: UW-Eau Claire was recognized for its study abroad program in an annual survey of international exchange activity in the U.S.

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire remains a national leader among master’s colleges and universities in study abroad participation, according to the 2020 Open Doors Report of the Institute of International Education.

A total of 517 UW-Eau Claire students studied abroad during the 2018-19 academic year, ranking the university 18th among public and private master’s-level schools in the number of students sent abroad.

UW-Eau Claire is the highest-ranked master’s-level school in Wisconsin among the 40 master’s institutions in the category.

UW-Eau Claire was the only Wisconsin school in the master’s level category for mid-length duration (more than eight weeks) of study abroad, ranking 11th with 242 students in the category. 

“At a time when most study abroad activity has paused around the world, it’s nice to celebrate the many UW-Eau Claire students who have pursued the opportunity in past years,” says Cheryl Lochner-Wright, senior study abroad coordinator in UW-Eau Claire’s Center for International Education. “We know students often choose UW-Eau Claire because of our leadership in study abroad, and we look forward to supporting current and future students in achieving their international goals.”

Colleen Marchwick, director of the UW-Eau Claire Center for International Education, credits the genesis of the university’s strong study abroad program to the leadership of former Chancellor William R. Davies, who encouraged the creation of exchange programs and the first Blugold studying abroad in 1950. Davies’ interest in international relations developed during his World War I military service.

“Study abroad participation has ebbed and flowed with world events such as World War II, Sept. 11 and now the novel coronavirus,” Marchwick says. “However, each of these events has taught society how interconnected the world is and the value in understanding those connections and the people behind them.” 

The report is an annual survey of international exchange activity in the U.S. sponsored by the U.S. Department of State that provides comprehensive information on U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit at their home institutions.