GV study abroad ranked in top 10

Anya Zentmeyer

Grand Valley State University has been named as one of the top 10 institutions in terms of size and number of students who study abroad by the Institute of International Education.

“Well, we are very excited to once again be back in the top 10 for numbers of study abroad participants at Masters-level institutions,” said Mark Schaub, executive director of the Padnos International Center. “Of course, we still think we have a lot of work to do, in terms of the percent of GVSU students who consider the high-impact learning experience of study abroad.”

IIE released statistics on Nov. 14 about the number of international students studying in the U.S. and Americans who participate in study abroad programs.

With 658 students who studied abroad in 2009-10, GVSU was ranked 10th among master’s degree-granting institutions. Last year, the university was ranked 11th.

Schaub said over the past year, looking at recent trends and growth areas in study abroad at PIC, GVSU saw more and more students choosing South America, as well as a couple new faculty-led programs to sub-Saharan Africa. In 2010-2011, Schaub said GVSU saw 71 students applying for study abroad in that region.

Among other top destinations are Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Australia and China.

With changes to the structure of the general education program at GVSU, Schaub said the team at PIC is happy to learn from the General Education Subcommittee that there will likely be a mechanism for students to complete many of their general education requirements abroad – including what appears to be coming as a replacement for the current theme requirements.

“This move will continue to make it possible for most GVSU students to find curricular space for a study abroad experience,” Schaub said. “There also continue to be affordable semester-long options for students, in which the cost of that semester abroad is no more than, or not much more than, a semester here on the Michigan campuses.”

To access the IIE data, visit www.iie.org/opendoors. For more information on GVSU’s study abroad options, visit www.gvsu.edu/pic or call the international center at 616-331-3898.

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