Millikin University's Center for International Education (CIE) has pledged to join the Institute of International Education's (IIE) Generation Study Abroad
initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade.
The Center for International Education has proudly committed to a pledge of increasing Millikin University's study abroad enrollment to a total of 18 percent by the end of the decade. In the coming months and years, the CIE also pledges to expand activities and services for education abroad through the launching of new initiatives, scholarships, alumni contacts, and services.
Leading up to IIE's centennial celebration in 2019, Generation Study Abroad will engage educators at all levels and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive meaningful, innovative action to increase the number of U.S. students who have the opportunity to gain international experience through academic study abroad programs, as well as internships, service learning and non-credit educational experiences. Millikin University is among the lead partners who have committed to specific, measurable actions that will help reach this ambitious goal; the result will be thousands more American students graduating with the international experience necessary for success in a globalized world.
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 five years.
"Making this pledge to the Institute of International Education to double our study abroad enrollment is a logical next step for further internationalization on Millikin's campus," said Carmen Aravena, director of Millikin's Center for International Education. "We truly want to prepare our students for democratic leadership in a global society, and making a commitment that pushes our mission onto more students will undoubtedly have lasting positive effects on the general student population."
More than 150 higher education institutions from 41 U.S. states have already signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment, including large state and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and several foreign governments, as well as key higher education associations and study abroad provider organizations, have also pledged to support the goals of the initiative. Recognizing the importance of an internationally focused workforce, IIE is also actively seeking the participation of corporations and the business community.
"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."
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. 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.
Jacob Cushing, Millikin coordinator of International Student Services says, "Pledging to increase Millikin's study abroad enrollment is a wonderful way to show our community that an international education is not only important, but necessary to be fully prepared in our global society."
For more information on IIE's Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, visit www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad
Millikin University is a private, comprehensive university with a diverse student population of approximately 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students. A Millikin education features "performance learning," a unique learning approach offering students the chance to build the confidence to succeed before and after graduation. Students choose from more than 50 majors from the College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business. Millikin is located on a 75-acre residential campus in Decatur, Ill. Last year, 99 percent of Millikin graduates gained employment or admission into professional/graduate school within six months of graduation. More information is available at www.millikin.edu