Kennesaw State among the nation’s top universities sending students abroad
Only two Georgia institutions cited for study abroad participation in 2012 Open Doors Report
KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 13, 2012) — Kennesaw State University ranks 8th among the nation's top 40 master’s degree-granting institutions in the number of students who studied abroad in 2010-11, according to the 2012 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released Tuesday.
Published annually by the Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the report notes that 734 Kennesaw State students studied abroad last year.
Among Georgia higher education institutions, only Kennesaw State and the University of Georgia ranked among the report’s top 40 masters and doctoral universities sending students abroad.
“We have experienced sustained and remarkable growth in study abroad over the years,” said Education Abroad Director Dan Paracka, who noted that study abroad participation at Kennesaw State nearly doubled in the past three years.
Nationally, the Open Doors Report concluded, study abroad increased by 1 percent in the 2010-2011 academic year.
“Study abroad is one component of a bigger focus at Kennesaw State on global learning that results in the type of intercultural knowledge and understanding our students are receiving in the classroom,” Paracka said. “I believe they are convinced this type of learning will lead to their success in a global economy.”
As part of its commitment to expand global learning, Kennesaw State will open its first international educational site in a soon-to-be restored and renovated historic fortress in Montepulciano, Italy. The University, which has conducted study abroad programs in the city for 15 years, hopes to expand program offerings there beginning fall 2014. .
Also fueling the growth and interest in study abroad at Kennesaw State is the availability of scholarships funded by an annual $14 Global Learning Fee approved in 2008. More than $584,300 in global scholarships — from $500 to $2,000 — was awarded during the 2011-2012 academic year to students participating in study abroad programs.
Paracka estimates that participation in study abroad at Kennesaw State has increased 15 percent since the scholarship fund was established. The fund also has increased the number of students going abroad in all University-sponsored programs. Nearly 1,100 students went abroad in various Kennesaw State programs, including study abroad, extra-curricular and non-credit learning experiences.
More Kennesaw State students are choosing to study abroad because of the wide variety of learning opportunities to suit their needs and schedules, Paracka said. Students can participate in short-term courses, semester- and year-long exchanges, research projects, internships abroad, service learning programs and not-for-credit experiences — all eligible for scholarship support.
-- Sabbaye McGriff