Nov. 14, 2006 -- The University of Virginia ranks 10th among all U.S. colleges and universities for study abroad participation among its students, according to Open Doors, a newly released annual report by the Institute of International Education. Climbing seven spots from 17th place in 2005 to 10th place this year, U.Va. is on the leading edge of a national trend toward increasing numbers of college students going abroad to study at least once during their college careers.
"We are very pleased with the growth of study abroad participation among our students," said Milton Adams, vice provost for academic programs. "The quality of the programs offered by our faculty members is one primary factor for the increase. Another important factor has been the increased capacity that the International Studies Office has developed to help our students engage in these programs."
The Open Door report also indicated that American college students show greater interest than ever before in visiting non-English speaking destinations, particularly such countries as China, India and Brazil. The release of the report came in conjunction with the nationwide observance of International Education Week.
Of the University’s approximately 17,500 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,875 of them either studied abroad or engaged in research abroad during the 2005-06 academic year, which includes fall semester, J-term, spring semester and both summer school sessions. That figure includes 1,412 undergraduates and 463 graduate students. Compared with figures for the 2004-05 year, the University has seen a total increase of 8.5 percent of its students deciding to study abroad.
U.Va. currently offers study-abroad opportunities in 61 countries. Especially popular is the J-term program, which saw a 100 percent increase in student participation between January 2005 and January 2006. This past year J-term students traveled to Ireland, Italy, Nicaragua and Spain.
During the 2005-06 school year, the University partnered with the Institute for Shipboard Education and became the academic sponsor for the popular Semester at Sea program. The first voyage under the new partnership sailed this past summer. The fall 2006 voyage now underway includes stops in such destinations as Mexico, China, Japan, India, Egypt, Croatia and Spain.
The International Studies Office is a University resource that supports the international mission by developing and coordinating activities and services designed to create and enhance a globally aware, culturally diverse education and research environment.
For more information about the International Studies Office, please contact Marina Markot, associate director for study abroad, at (434) 982-3012 or visit www.virginia.edu/iso.