3 Reasons You Should Know About Generation Study Abroad

Generation Study Abroad

As a general overview, Generation Study Abroad is an initiative from the Institute of International Education (IIE) to increase the number of American students who study abroad and to ensure that our graduates are prepared and ready to contribute to the global workforce. The initiative looks to increase the diversity of students who study abroad, remove barriers to participation and ensure quality experiences for all of those involved. We picked out the three most important reasons Generation Study Abroad should be on your radar. We also surveyed our staff to get their opinion on the Generation Study Abroad initiative.

Without further ado, here are the 3 reasons you should become familiar with Generation Study Abroad…

1. Generation Study Abroad’s Goal is Pretty Impressive

Generation Study Abroad aims to double the number of American students studying abroad by the end of the decade (2020). That means they need YOU in order to reach this goal, so if you needed a sign that you should study abroad: this is it!

2. Less than 10% of U.S. Students Study Abroad

International experience has increasingly become one of the most important components of a 21st century education. Studying abroad specifically is one of the best ways college students can acquire international experience necessary to succeed in today’s global market. By increasing the number of students entering the workforce with international experience, we are effectively making the market, as a whole, more diverse and culturally competent.

3. Towson University has Committed to this Initiative

Towson University and Towson Abroad have joined some 450 other partners from across the country and have committed to increasing the number of Towson students who study abroad by 40% by 2020. The reason this matters is because we can’t do it without you – our students, faculty, staff, and the whole Towson community.

“We wholeheartedly support this initiative because we believe it will help to create a generation of young people who will leave Towson ready to make a positive difference in the world.”

– Dr. Timothy Chandler, TU President

“What does the Generation Study Abroad initiative mean to you?/Why is it needed?” 

Bradford Drewniak, Peer Advisor, Senior Psychology Major, Italy and Argentina

Bradford Drewniak, Peer Advisor, Senior Psychology Major, Italy and Argentina

Jennifer Crystle, Study Abroad Adivsor

Jennifer Crystle, Study Abroad Adivsor

Liz Shearer, Director of Study Abroad

Liz Shearer, Director of Study Abroad

Alexandra Waller, Peer Advisor, Junior, Anthropology Major and Women and Gender Studies Minor, studied abroad in India during the spring of 2015

Alexandra Waller, Peer Advisor, Junior, Anthropology Major and Women and Gender Studies Minor, studied abroad in India during the spring of 2015

Kelly Hughes, Coordinator of International Initiatives and Partnerships

Kelly Hughes, Coordinator of International Initiatives and Partnerships

Courtney Souders, Peer Advisor, Junior, Elementary Education and Special Education Major, studied abroad in South Africa during the spring of 2015

Courtney Souders, Peer Advisor, Junior, Elementary Education and Special Education Major, studied abroad in South Africa during the spring of 2015

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Two Gilman recipients for Spring 2015

We’re proud to announce that two Towson University students are among 800 American undergraduate students from 356 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study abroad in Spring 2015.

Towson senior Leili Zamini of Towson, Maryland is a Chemistry major. Her plans to study abroad are focused on her future experiences in the dental profession. She notes, “The opportunity to spend three months in Spain in order to enhance my Spanish language skills will allow me to meet the challenge of communicating effectively with the increasing Spanish-speaking population in the United States.” Zamini will spend a semester in Seville, Spain taking courses in Spanish and living with a host family.

Towson junior Shereen Ahmed of White Marsh, Maryland is a Criminal Justice major. She will be traveling with the AIFS program to Prague, Czech Republic to study at Charles University with a focus on the field of social work. Shereen is looking forward including a volunteer opportunity in her study abroad experience: “I will be volunteering with organizations that allow me to become better connected to those in need in Prague.”

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversity the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies — making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

Congratulations to Leili and Shereen! Best of luck and bon voyage.

To learn more about the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship, visit their website: http://www.iie.org/programs/gilman-scholarship-program

Towson University commits to boosting study abroad participation

This press release was originally published on the Towson University News page.

Towson University commits to boosting study abroad participation

Looks to extend international experience to under-represented students

TOWSON, Md. —Towson University joins the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to increase the diversity and number of American students who study abroad. The initiative looks to increase the diversity of students who study abroad, Generation Study Abroadremove barriers to participation and ensure quality experiences. Towson University has committed to increase the number of its students who study abroad by 40 percent by the end of the decade.

Towson University joins more than 240 higher education institutions throughout the nation participating in Generation Study Abroad.

“Towson University is pleased to be part of this Generation Study Abroad initiative and excited about the opportunities it will create for our students,” said Towson University Acting President Dr. Timothy Chandler.  “Increasing the numbers of Towson students who will study abroad by 40 percent over the next six years is an ambitious goal, and it will serve as an important component of the university’s overall plan to expand our international and global initiatives. We wholeheartedly support this initiative because we believe it will help to create a generation of young people who will leave Towson ready to make a positive difference in the world.”

The Towson Study Abroad Office has identified several pathways to achieve its goal of increasing participation in its program, including the following:

  • Curriculum integration. In addition to working with departments across campus to identify courses suitable for different areas of study, Towson seeks to develop a Global Perspectives certificate program; create a semester-long preparatory course on global citizenship; and continue collaborations with faculty and advisors to educate the campus community about study abroad.
  • Funding and scholarship. One of the top concerns of Towson students is funding and financial aid to support experiences abroad. In addition to other internationally focused projects, Towson aims to raise funds to support a new ‘Generation Study Abroad’ scholarship for underrepresented, incoming first-year students. The scholarship could be applied to an approved study abroad experience at any time during a student’s undergraduate career.
  • Access and diversification. Towson is eager to diversify its offerings overseas as well as the experiences of its graduates.  These efforts involve increasing outreach to students who are underrepresented in study abroad (low-income students, first generation students, minorities, athletes) and evaluating the type of experiences offered (internships, research opportunities) as well as the locations.

“Through this initiative we can ensure that we can increase the diversity of under-represented students participating in the study abroad programs by offering the diverse selection of traditional and non-traditional sites, scholarship opportunities, study, research and internship abroad and short and long term international learning experience,” said Saleha Suleman, assistant vice president of international initiatives. Suleman joined Towson in July and is charged with carrying out the university’s commitment to international education.

According to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange released by IIE last November, 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.