Millersville University of Pennsylvania Joins the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative
Millersville University commits to increasing study abroad access and participation.
4/3/2017 – Millersville University has joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans to gain international experience through study abroad programs. This is one of more than 700 commitments announced by IIE.
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. One of Millersville University President, Dr. John M. Anderson’s Bold Path plan for the university is Engaging Students in Study Abroad. In this category, the Global Education office was directed to increase the number of students studying abroad by 50%, by the year 2020. Global Education anticipates meeting and exceeding this goal and will work towards doubling the amount of study abroad participants in the same time period.
Under the new partnership, Millersville University will take concrete, action-oriented steps to expand opportunities for study abroad.
- Global Education will work to create study abroad scholarships or seek alternative funding source to offset fees.
- Global Education will work with the Development Office towards increasing university study abroad scholarships from MU alumni and donors.
- Partner with third party providers to increase the variety of programs and increase scholarship opportunities.
- Global Education’s Faculty Coordinator will promote curricular integration at Millersville University.
- Increase the number of short term study abroad opportunities for students, including dynamic and innovative faculty-led programs.
- Global Education will work to increase participation in service learning and international professional experiences, such as internships, student teaching, and social work.
- Global Education will create an engaging re-entry program for study abroad alumni.
Global Education is part of the Division of Academic Affairs. Dr. Vilas Prabhu, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, responded to this announcement by stating, “Millersville University is committed to preparing students who are ready to engage as citizen of their region, their nation, and the world. Study abroad is one of those high impact practices that truly transforms students’ lives, and this is an opportunity that we want extended to as many of our students as possible. Our joining the Generation Study Abroad initiative is another tangible expression of this commitment.”
As of January 2017, Generation Study Abroad partners to date include over 400 colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country and around the world, as well as 19 governments, 50 education associations, more than 100 international partners, and 100 study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad. Commitments include actions to diversity the population of students who participate in study abroad and provide additional financial resources to make this possible.
IIE launched Generation Study Abroad in the belief that 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 published by IIE with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 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.
“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.”
About Generation Study Abroad
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to significantly increase study abroad participation by bringing employers, governments, associations, and others together to build on current best practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing programs. Generation Study Abroad will sustain an ongoing dialogue about the need for more students from all backgrounds and in all fields to gain international experience. This will include research to identify and break down barriers hindering students from studying abroad, communications to share strategies and best practices to increase study abroad, and fundraising to mobilize additional financial resources. IIE will also hold a Summit on Generation Study Abroad on October 1-3, 2017 to engage stakeholders in higher education and all commitment partners.
About Global Education at Millersville University of Pennsylvania
In 1983, the International Studies Task Force was appointed by MU’s academic administration with the goal of developing an international studies curriculum, a study abroad program, faculty opportunities, and other initiatives. Dr. Marlene Arnold, now Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, led this effort. Due to her extensive experience abroad and having attended higher education institutions with established global initiatives, Dr. Arnold saw the need for a coordinated effort to encourage study abroad and more so the internationalization of MU’s campus
Global Education, formally known as the Office of Global Education and Partnerships, and when founded was the Office of International Affairs, was established in 1987. During its first year the Office of International Affairs was supporting 62 international students studying at MU, there were active student involvement opportunities through the International Relations Club and Study Abroad Club, five international student exchange programs, and multiple active faculty exchange partnerships.
Since that time Global Education has grown to over 25 international partnerships and have seen the number students and faculty going abroad grow over the years.
In Spring 2015, citing the university’s strategic direction related to internationalization, the international student and scholars services was transferred to Global Education, which is poised to lead the comprehensive internationalization of MU’s campus.
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.