Campus: San Diego State University -- November 19, 2004
SDSU Among Top 2 Doctoral/Research-Intensive Universities for
Students Studying Abroad
SDSU is now the second ranked university of its type in the country for
students studying internationally, a new report shows.
The Institute of International Education (IIE)'s Open Doors 2004 report ranks
SDSU second in the nation for students studying abroad, up one spot from last year,
among Doctoral/Research-Intensive universities. The ranking is based on the total
number of students who studied abroad during the 2002-2003 academic year. During
that period, 1,030 SDSU students studied abroad.
"Given the world situation today, international education is all the more necessary,"
said Alan Sweedler, SDSU physics professor and assistant vice president for
International Programs. "Students need to be able to work internationally and in
different cultures. This is what truly contributes to international security and
The 10 most popular destinations for SDSU students for 2002-2003 were: Mexico
(201 students); Spain (160); the United Kingdom (154); Costa Rica (86); Australia
(57); France (53); Italy (44); Chile (33); Germany (32) and Russia (22).
"Study abroad is becoming more of a norm and there are more faculty than ever who
have become involved in working to create these opportunities for their students,"
Sweedler said. "But our students remain the best recruiters. When they return from
their international studies and tell other students about their incredible
experiences, others become very interested in pursuing study abroad as well."
Aaron Pratts, a senior, has already studied in Sweden and Costa Rica through the
university's programs and is a prospective Fulbright Scholar with a teaching
assignment in Malaysia. "Studying abroad combined with the additional travel
opportunities has greatly enhanced my educational experience and understanding of
different cultures," said Pratts, a double major in Communication and International
Security and Conflict Resolution. "SDSU's study abroad programs have opened up my
future to unlimited possibilities as I have already developed key connections
throughout Europe, Northern Africa, Asia and Central America. I have the foundation
to go anywhere in the world to accomplish my personal and professional goals."
The 2002-2003 class of foreign-bound students caps a 517 percent increase in study
abroad participants at SDSU over the last six years, and the SDSU officials said
even more students studied abroad in 2003-2004.
"SDSU's leading role in students studying abroad is a direct result of the
university's increased emphasis on international education," Sweedler said. "We
weren't ranked in this listing five years ago. And in the last four years, we went
from 11th to fifth and now up to second. We had fewer than 200 students studying
abroad five years ago; last year we had 1,168 students who studied abroad."
Other notable facts include:
Miami University of Ohio topped the study abroad list (1,208 students), followed
by SDSU. George Mason University (915), Baylor University (895) and the University
of Saint Thomas (649) came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
- SDSU was ranked third among all universities in California in the IIE's study abroad rankings;
- SDSU ranks 13th for hosting international students, according to the IIE report;
- 18 percent of SDSU's graduates studied abroad for the 2002-2003 academic year.
The Open Doors 2004 report is published by the Institute of International Education,
the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the
United States. IIE has conducted the annual statistical survey of the foreign
students in the United States since 1949, and has been collecting study abroad
figures since 1986. A grant from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs underwrites the research and report.
Media Contact: Aaron Hoskins, (619) 594-1119,