11194314205_e802fd1d1c_oWinona State University has partnered with the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help American students gain international experience through study abroad programs.

Through this partnership, WSU has committed to doubling the number of students who study abroad by 2020 on either short-term (such as Travel Study) or longer-term (semester or academic year) programs. To facilitate this growth, WSU plans to streamline the study abroad application process and use the enrollment management system, StudioAbroad, to restructure the application process. WSU will also offer a variety of program types and develop an approved program list of high quality, affordable study abroad programs in almost every region of the world. Finally WSU will increase the advising capacity of the study abroad office by implementing Study Abroad Peer Mentor internship positions and other initiatives designed to support faculty in advising students about study abroad.

“WSU students know how important global engagement is, and they’re very interested in carrying out the WSU mission of improving our world by living and learning across the globe,” said Carolyn O’Grady, Assistant Vice President for International Programs and Services at WSU. “The bottom line is that WSU students who don’t experience the opportunity for global engagement are being academically underserved by WSU.”

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad Program seeks to double the number of students in the United States studying abroad by the end of the decade by bringing employers, governments, associations and more together to build on current practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students across the nation.

As of January 2016, Generation Study Abroad partners include over 400 colleges and universities across the country and around the world, as well as 14 governments, 22 education associations, more than 100 international partners, and 100 study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to increasing the number of U.S. students studying abroad.

“In order to give our students the best return on their investment, we need to be thinking about student needs & interests, not to mention the world’s needs & interests, in education,” said O’Grady. “Our participation in Generation Study Abroad helps us create programs and procedures that make it possible for students to have this important academic and experiential opportunity.”

For more information visit the IIE Generation Study Abroad website or contact O’Grady at cogrady@winona.edu.

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