CSB and SJU remain No. 1 nationally for semester-long study abroad participation

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November 12, 2012

CSB and SJU students taking a break from an on-site lecture in Pompeii, Italy during their Roman-Greco study abroad experience.

For the third consecutive year, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are ranked No. 1 nationally among baccalaureate institutions with students who participate in mid-length study abroad programs, according to Open Doors 2012, the annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

CSB and SJU, which share the top spot this year with Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa., had 381 students study abroad in mid-length programs during the 2010-11 school year, an increase of almost 4 percent from the 2009-10 school year, according to the most recent data released by IIE. Mid-length duration study abroad programs are those lasting one semester, one quarter or two quarters (CSB and SJU operate under the semester system).

The 2012 report also found that CSB and SJU ranked No. 4 nationally among baccalaureate institutions for total number of study abroad students, with 531 students who studied abroad in 2010-11. CSB and SJU have been among the top six nationally in the number of students participating in international study abroad programs for the past eight years, according to the IIE.

"I am very proud of the strong commitment that CSB and SJU continue to show toward internationalizing our campus through education abroad; in particular through our signature, faculty-led, semester-long programs," said Peggy Retka, director of the Office for Education Abroad at CSB and SJU. "The fact that we have remained strong in our overall participation numbers, increased program offerings, and maintained our IIE ranking is noteworthy this year during a time of significant economic challenges for higher education."  

A total number of 273,996 U.S. students studied abroad during the 2010-11 academic year, an increase of 1.3 percent from the previous academic year.

CSB and SJU offer 19 semester-long study abroad programs in 15 countries on six continents, including the two most recent additions: Coventry, England, and Northern Ireland. Most programs are faculty-led, a model which is unusual among baccalaureate institutions. In addition, CSB and SJU sponsor dozens of short-term and service learning overseas trips, as well as internship and volunteer opportunities.

Open Doors 2012 also reported that CSB and SJU ranked No. 14 (tied with Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.) among baccalaureate institutions with 268 international students for the 2011-12 school year. The schools had the highest number of international students among Minnesota colleges and universities listed in the top 40 baccalaureate institutions.

The number of international students at United States colleges and universities increased by 5.7 percent to 764,495 during the 2011-12 academic year, according to the report. This represents a record high number of international students in the United States.

"Supporting students on study abroad and integrating international students into our campus community are essential aspects of our comprehensive approach to internationalization," said Joe Rogers, director of the Center for Global Education at CSB and SJU. "Earlier this year, we were recognized with the Senator Paul Simon Award from the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), and we will receive the award Tuesday, Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C.  The Open Doors Report provides further evidence that we are a leader among liberal arts colleges in the field of international education."