Study Abroad Announcement: March 5, 2014

UC Davis Joins Institute of International Education (IIE) Coalition to Double Number of Students Who Study Abroad by End of Decade

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) has pledged to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by 2020. This will place UC Davis among the top-tier Research I institutions nationally in terms of study abroad participation.

Leading up to IIE’s centennial celebration in 2019, Generation Study Abroad will engage educators at all levels and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive meaningful, innovative action to increase the number of U.S. students who have the opportunity to gain international experience through academic study abroad programs, as well as internships, service learning and non-credit educational experiences. UC Davis is among the lead partners who have committed to specific, measureable actions that will help reach this ambitious goal; the result will be thousands more American students graduating with the international experience necessary for success in a globalized world.

Building on its nearly 100-year commitment to study abroad, IIE has committed $2 million of its own funds to this initiative over the next 5 years.

A recent $1 million gift from Ann E. Pitzer, UC Davis alumna and current member of the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees, will establish a study abroad scholarship endowment to provide the opportunity for more UC Davis students to participate in study abroad programs. In addition, fifteen new donors recently gave $25,000 matching gifts to the new Pitzer Study Abroad Scholarship fund.

There are a number of specific strategies UC Davis is developing to support the goal doubling study abroad participation:

  • In Summer 2014, UC Davis Study Abroad is piloting an innovative Summer Internship program in Global Health.  Although enrollments in this program represent less than 4% of total available spots for Summer Abroad, expressed interest for the program represented 20% of all demand, and early indications are that these are students who were not previously planning to go abroad. The Summer Internship program will be tripled in size for 2015.
  • In Fall 2014, UC Davis Study Abroad is piloting a new pre-Fall Quarter, 2-week Honors Seminar Abroad program that will target top achieving high school applicants to UC Davis. The program will be expanded to second year Honors students in Fall 2015.
  • In December 2014, UC Davis Study Abroad is piloting new ‘Seminars Abroad’ programs—2-week international field components for seminars taught on campus during the regular academic term.
  • UC Davis Summer Abroad currently enrolls approximately 550 UC Davis students each year and is the most consistently performing program with an average 4% increase year-over-year. 
  • UC Davis Quarter Abroad currently enrolls approximately 200 UC Davis students in 9 programs annually.  Under a recently improved funding model that returns a portion of student tuition to the program to fund instructional expenses, the program is poised for expansion.  3 new programs are in development with a goal of 1 additional new program each year.
  • UC Davis currently enrolls approximately 300 UC Davis students annually in the UC Systemwide Education Abroad Program (UCEAP).

More than 150 higher education institutions from 41 U.S. states have already signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment, including large state and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and several foreign governments, as well as key higher education associations and study abroad provider organizations, have also pledged to support the goals of the initiative. Recognizing the importance of an internationally focused workforce, IIE is also actively seeking the participation of corporations and the business community. 

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” says Dr. Allan Goodman, President of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad because the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career. According to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange released by IIE last November with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 295,000 students studied abroad in 2011/12 in credit-bearing and non-credit programs. Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade.  

With 2.6 million students graduating with associates or baccalaureate degrees each year, it is clear that major segments of America’s young people are not getting the international experience they will need to advance their careers and participate in the global economy, or to work together across borders to address global issues.  


UC Davis Study Abroad

Study abroad is an integral part of a UC Davis education. Through academic coursework, internships and experiential learning, UC davis Study Abroad provides every UC Davis student the opportunity to graduate with an international experience. We promote an internationalized campus that cultivates an understanding of our diverse global community. We challenge our students to study, explore and engage with other cultures—to broaden their perspective and involvement in the world. For more information: http://studyabroad.ucdavis.edu

Media Contact: Blake N. Cooper