First and largest study abroad review website commits to increase study abroad participation by doubling it’s tuition crowd funding initiative
February 25, 2015 – Abroad101 has joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans to gain international experience through study abroad programs. This is one of more than 450 new commitments announced by IIE.
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. Abroad101 has been helping advance study abroad since 2007 through the publishing of study abroad program reviews, detailed first-hand accounts of students experiences abroad. Since that time, more than 23,000 reviews have been published on StudyAbroad101.com, the field’s most comprehensive directory of study abroad programs.
Under the new partnership, Abroad101 will take concrete, action-oriented steps to expand opportunities for study abroad by doubling its financial commitment to the Abroad101 Student of the Week enterprise. Started less than a year ago, this study abroad tuition crowd funding initiative helps an ambitious and deserving students boost their fundraising efforts by contributing cash, endorsement, and a social networking push. By linking the student’s fundraising campaign to reviews, the Abroad101 Student of the Week uses the success reported by previous students to help the aspiring students draw support from their friends and family.
Abroad101’s CEO Mark Shay points out that many parents and family members who may not have gone to college or studied abroad themselves have a hard time understanding the benefits of an international experience. According to Shay, “Every day, dozens of reviews are added to Abroad101, and each tells a story of a young person’s individual triumphs and set-backs; testimonials to their learning and self-improvement. Abroad101 is committed to helping bring study abroad into the mainstream, one student at a time. We strive to not only help them find the best fit program, but also take those experiences and help them jump-start their careers.”
As of November 2014, Generation Study Abroad partners to date include over 300 colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country and around the world, as well as 13 governments, 16 education associations, 67 international partners, and 56 study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad. Commitments include actions to diversity the population of students who participate in study abroad and provide additional financial resources to make this possible.
IIE launched Generation Study Abroad early this year in the belief that 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 published by IIE with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 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.
“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.”
About Generation Study Abroad
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to significantly increase study abroad participation by bringing employers, governments, associations, and others together to build on current best practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing programs. Generation Study Abroad will sustain an ongoing dialogue about the need for more students from all backgrounds and in all fields to gain international experience. This will include research to identify and break down barriers hindering students from studying abroad, communications to share strategies and best practices to increase study abroad, and fundraising to mobilize additional financial resources. IIE will also hold a Summit on Generation Study Abroad on October 1-2, 2015 to engage stakeholders in higher education and all commitment partners.
Founded in 2007, Abroad101 is the first and largest study abroad review website. Focusing on American college students looking for a semester or term abroad, this innovative platform connects past and future students, parents and advisors and program providers through its market-leading online evaluation tool. Abroad101 grew from one partnership at Tufts University in 2007 to over 215 college partnerships today. The Abroad101 directory of study abroad programs is the most comprehensive database in the field today. To learn more, visit: http://www.studyabroad101.com
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.