Pitzer College Joins National Effort to Double Number of Students Studying Abroad by 2020

generation-study-aboradClaremont, Calif. (March 3, 2014) — Pitzer College has pledged to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. This pledge will augment the College’s top-ranked study abroad program, which contributes to the unprecedented number of Pitzer students and alumni who win Fulbright Fellowships each year. As a partner in IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, the College makes the following commitments:

To work through the newly established Pitzer Institute for Global/Local Action & Study on initiatives that encourage students to study abroad earlier in their college career, allowing them a) the possibility of studying abroad twice; or b) tying their study abroad experience more deliberately to their on-campus academic program.

  • To develop and expand a targeted scholarship fund to ensure that no student is prevented from studying abroad because of financial exigencies.
  • To expand the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) students who engage in a semester abroad. A new study abroad initiative will develop organic chemistry courses in select Pitzer abroad sites, including China, Ecuador and Italy.
  • To provide additional support service for students, most notably collaborating with the other Claremont Colleges and the Queer Resource Center to establish a clearing house of information and support for LGBTQ students, and to ensure best practices in advising LGTBQ students interested in studying abroad, and in providing them with support while abroad.
  • While not explicitly a “study-abroad” program, work to expand opportunities for students to immerse themselves in Native American communities in the US through targeted domestic programs with strong Indigenous Studies Programs.
  • To expand opportunities for students to immerse themselves in Native American communities in the US through targeted domestic programs with strong Indigenous studies programs. While not explicitly a “study abroad” program, this goal stems from Pitzer’s commitment to promoting intercultural understanding both at home and abroad.

Seventy-five percent of Pitzer students—10 percent of the graduating class—study abroad through the College’s five semester-long programs, two summer programs and 48 international exchanges. During 2012-13, Pitzer students studied on 37 programs in 30 countries.

“Intercultural Understanding is key value that distinguishes the Pitzer education,” said Laura Skandera Trombley, Pitzer College president, “While we are proud of our history of success with our study abroad program, we committed to expanding and creating access to all students interested in this life changing experience.”

For the fourth consecutive year, Pitzer received more student Fulbright Fellowships than any other US liberal arts college and more per thousand among all national higher education institutions for 10 years.

IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad in response to the low number and proportion of today’s students who graduate without an educational experience abroad. Currently, less than 10 percent of all US 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, 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 to 600,000 by the end of the decade. IIE has committed $2 million of its own funds to this initiative over the next five years

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” said Allan Goodman, president of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

More than 150 higher education institutions from 41 US states have joined 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 US 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

For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, go to: www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad.

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About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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