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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has joined more than 160 higher education institutions as part of the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade.
Already a leader in global engagement efforts, UNO is the only Nebraska school to join this partnership. As part of its commitment, UNO is planning to double the number of undergraduate students who study abroad by over the next five years, bringing the total number to 562.
During the 2011-2012 academic year, 282 UNO students studied abroad in more than 30 countries.
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. 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.
Expanding study abroad participation is a primary objective at UNO, in line with its goals of global engagement and increased opportunities for international exchange. By making study abroad a campus-wide initiative supported by all college deans and departments through the Generation Study Abroad initiative, more students will be exposed to study abroad opportunities, including students who may not have considered study abroad an option.
“To succeed, UNO students must be prepared to compete in an increasingly interconnected world,” said Thomas E. Gouttierre, dean of International Studies & Programs at UNO. “Study abroad is perhaps the most effective way for students to gain the global skills required to communicate in different languages and across diverse cultures.”
UNO offers more than 20 faculty-led programs and has partnerships with over 50 foreign institutions. These partnerships provide students with an affordable way to earn credits while abroad, which makes the incentive to study abroad even greater.
“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.”
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.
For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, go to: www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad. For more information about UNO’s Study Abroad program, visit www.world.unomaha.edu/studyabroad.
For questions or interview requests, contact Charley Reed, UNO mediar relations coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 402.554.2129.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.