BOONE, N.C. — The growing interest of students participating in study abroad at Appalachian State University has once again resulted in recognition from the International Institute of Education (IIE).
In its 2014 Open Doors report, Appalachian is ranked 4th among the top 40 master’s degree granting institutions for the total number of students studying abroad in 2012-13, the year the rankings are based.
- Central America/Caribbean
- South America
The university also ranked second among the top 40 master’s degree granting institutions for the number of students participating in short-term programs for academic credit. Short term programs are those lasting one to six weeks.
A total of 942 students studied abroad in 2012-13, the year the rankings are based. This represented a 22 percent participation rate at Appalachian, a much higher rate than the national rate of 13.8 percent. These numbers and percentages rose even more during the 2013-14 year (noted at right).
Why Appalachian values study abroad
Appalachian values study abroad, also called education abroad, because it is part of the larger effort to graduate students who are globally competent. Study abroad gives students opportunities to increase their knowledge of global issues, regions and cultures; improve their intercultural skills; and foster global citizenship.
“I am very pleased with this distinction that Appalachian has received,” said Dr. Jesse Lutabingwa, associate vice chancellor for international education and development. “This achievement has come as a result of hard work by both my staff, faculty and many others on campus.”
During the last five academic years, the number of Appalachian students selecting to study abroad for academic credit has grown steadily from 680 in 2008-09 to 942 in 2012-13. Appalachian saw its study abroad totals increase by 270 students from its 2011-12 totals.
Factors leading to Appalachian’s increased study abroad
“The growth in education abroad can be attributed to many factors,” Lutabingwa explained.
He said there has been an increased interest among the students wanting to go abroad and faculty wanting to led programs abroad, greater publicity of education abroad opportunities, and phenomenal growth in the number of pre-service teachers choosing to do a portion of their student teaching abroad. Some scholarship support is also offered to make the study abroad experience more affordable to students.
In some departments and programs at Appalachian, studying abroad has become an expectation and a graduation requirement. “Our office also has worked tirelessly to expand opportunities in many different countries and through different avenues, such as short-term faculty-led, research, clinical observations, service-learning, international Alternative Spring Break and internships. All of these efforts have contributed in the increases that we have observed,” Lutabingwa said.
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About the Office of International Education and Development
The OIED is responsible for spearheading the internationalization efforts at Appalachian. The internationalization mission of Appalachian is to develop awareness, knowledge, appreciation and respect of cultural differences in both domestic and international contexts in its students, faculty, staff and the surrounding communities. The university is also dedicated to creating a campus environment that builds the theoretical and practical skills needed to interact effectively in a global society. Learn more at https://international.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.