Campus: SAN DIEGO -- November 17, 2006

SDSU Tops California Public Universities for Students Studying Abroad

New Report Also Shows SDSU Ranks No. 2 Nationwide In Its Class

A new national report shows San Diego State University had 1,257 students study abroad during 2004-05, more than any other public university in California.

SDSU also ranked second nationwide among universities of its category in the latest "Open Doors" report, released this week by the Institute for International Education.

"There is an established global culture at San Diego State, and it's growing fast," said Alan Sweedler, SDSU physics professor and assistant vice president for International Programs. "There is a lot of work going on across campus to enhance international study options for our students, and student interest in studying abroad has shown no sign of slacking."

SDSU students studied in 55 different countries during 2004-05. The 10 most popular destinations for SDSU students for 2004-2005 were: Mexico (309 students); Spain (176) the United Kingdom (157); France (68); Italy (58); Australia (49); Brazil (45); Japan (40); Costa Rica (37) and Chile (30).

Fostering international study and partnerships has been a priority for SDSU for the last decade. Currently, Sweedler said, the campus is working to enhance partnerships and opportunities in regions such as South America and Asia to accommodate growing student interest. In addition, more academic departments around campus are designating staff to specifically work with and advise students interested in studying in other countries. The number of departments with majors or specialties requiring international study for graduation also is growing.

"For programs like international security and conflict resolution or international business, study abroad is a given," Sweedler said. "In the last few years other programs such as Spanish, European Studies and the University Honors Program have added a study abroad requirement, and areas such as theater and dance will soon also be adding international study as a requirement for some of their students."

SDSU student participation in the Fulbright Scholar program, a highly regarded international education exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, also is increasing. This year, four SDSU students received Fulbright grants to study or teach in Norway, the Slovak Republic, Syria and France. Nearly 30 SDSU students have applied for grants for the 2007-08 academic year.

SDSU's 2004-05 study abroad class grew 12.7 percent compared to the previous year, and outpaced the 7.7 percent national growth in study abroad reported in the latest "Open Doors" data. Since 1997-98, SDSU has had a more than 750 percent increase in study abroad participants, and officials said they expect the number of students studying in other countries will climb above 1,300 for the 2005-06 academic year.

"We know with absolute certainty that the world in which our students will live and work will become more and more interconnected, so it's essential to provide these international study opportunities," said SDSU Provost Nancy Marlin. "It's gratifying to see so many of our students taking advantage of the programs our faculty and staff have worked so hard to create."

This is the third straight year that SDSU ranked No. 2 for students studying abroad among universities classified as "Doctoral Research/Intensive" by the "Open Doors" report.

The "Open Doors" 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. The "Open Doors" report is available at

Miami University of Ohio topped the study abroad list for Doctoral Research/Intensive universities (1,434 students), followed by SDSU. George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and Baylor University in Waco, Texas came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

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