US universities are increasing accessibility for study abroad programs

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US universities are increasing accessibility to study abroad programs
The cost of studying abroad for college, family obligations, and a lack of course flexibility are all obstacles to address.

While some college students decide to study abroad in order to become more familiar with foreign cultures and languages, others do so in order to develop their job skills or get ready for a prospective career working overseas after graduation.

However, obstacles including expense, family obligations, a lack of course flexibility, and ignorance of the experiences that are offered prohibit many students from studying abroad while in college. Particularly, students of colour are underrepresented in these programmes: According to the annual 2021 Open Doors report, which is created by the Institute of International Education and the U.S. Department of State, 70% of American students who study abroad are white.

US universities are increasing accessibility to study abroad programs
Source: opendoorsdata

By providing different curricula, funding possibilities, and passport assistance, some institutions and charitable groups are attempting to make study abroad programmes more approachable.

Cheryl D. Young, associate vice president for global projects at Miami University-Oxford in Ohio, asserts that every student has a distinct scenario. Therefore, we must comprehend each student’s unique circumstances and potential barriers to studying abroad and work with them to develop critical thinking skills so that they can do so.

Global Education Initiatives

According to Russ Ganim, assistant provost and dean of international programmes at the University of Iowa, universities must prioritise fundraising for study abroad in order to make it more accessible.

To support students’ global education, UI provides merit- and need-based scholarships as well as a diversity ambassador scholarship. For the autumn and spring semesters, up to 10 $1,000 diversity ambassador grants are given to groups like LGBTQ+ students, first-generation college students, students of colour, and students with disabilities. For both the winter and summer semesters, the same number and amounts of scholarships are given out for international study.

Morehouse, a historically Black college, collaborates with business and foundation partners to minimise the cost of studying abroad and to offer scholarships to students. Students from Morehouse College who have a strong academic potential, a commitment to community service, and a demonstrated financial need are eligible for the Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholars Program, a summer programme in South Africa that offers financial support, service opportunities, and leadership opportunities.

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