Campus: San Diego State University -- December 06, 2002

SDSU Cracks Top Five in Study Abroad Ranking


San Diego State University now ranks among the top five universities of its type in the nation for students studying abroad. A new report called “Open Doors 2002” by the Institute for International Education (IIE) places SDSU fifth among all U.S. doctoral institutions, with 639 students studying abroad in 2000-2001.

“In today’s world, international experience is essential for the education of our students,” said SDSU Provost Nancy Marlin. “Increasing international education opportunities for our students is a key goal for the university, and I am extremely proud of the work of our faculty to assure these opportunities for our students.”

The number of SDSU students who studied abroad increased 41.4 percent from the previous year, when 452 students pursued international education and SDSU ranked 11th among U.S. doctoral institutions. In this year’s ranking, SDSU tops fellow institutions such as Dartmouth College (625 students) and Pepperdine University (619 students). Miami University holds the top spot with 1,348 students.

Student participation in SDSU’s study abroad programs continues to grow significantly. Robert Carolin, SDSU’s Assistant Director for Education Abroad, said the number of SDSU students who studied abroad climbed to 731 for the 2001-2002 academic year, an increase of 14.4 percent from 2000-2001. “We anticipate continued growth in students studying abroad in 2002-2003,” he said.

Brian Requarth, a senior, has already studied in Spain and Costa Rica through the university’s programs. He will travel to Costa Rica again later this month as a faculty assistant to help other students in the program. “I’m majoring in Spanish with a minor in Portuguese because I believe language is essential in understanding different cultures,” he said. “I have already developed key connections in Latin America and am contemplating attending graduate school there for a degree in International Business.”

SDSU alum Leo Hamacher said the university’s emphasis in international education enabled him to jump-start his career.

“SDSU’s study abroad program is top-notch,” said Hamacher, who graduated from SDSU’s International Business Honors Program in 2000 with a double major in International Business, emphasis Western Europe/French and Economics. “My internship in France led me to my current career where I am the European Sales Manager for Watkins Manufacturing Corporation in Belgium, which is part of MASCO, a Fortune 500 company.”

According to IIE President Allan E. Goodman, “As campuses such as San Diego State University lead the way in study abroad, they are playing an important role in changing the way students and faculty think about what an education should contain and why study abroad is more important -- and more needed -- than ever.”

The most popular destinations for SDSU students studying abroad include (in order of preference): Mexico, Spain, Australia, England, Italy, Sweden and France. Fifty percent of students who study abroad go for an entire semester; nearly 25 percent spend an entire year at a foreign university as part of their education.

The IIE’s new study abroad ranking is the latest in a string of international education accolades for SDSU:

  • In October 2002, NAFSA (the Association of International Educators) and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs chose SDSU as one of six U.S. higher education institutions that has best internationalized its campus. All six will be profiled in a NAFSA report to be published in spring 2003.

  • SDSU’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) in October 2002 formally launched CaMexUS, the nation’s first transnational, undergraduate triple-degree program with universities in Canada and Mexico. The program is designed to produce trilingual, tricultural business leaders and professionals who can address the needs of NAFTA countries.

  • SDSU’s undergraduate International Business program won IIE’s Andrew Heiskell Award for best study abroad program – in any discipline – in February 2002.

CONTACT: Jennifer Zwiebel, SDSU Marketing & Communications
619-594-4298 jzwiebel@mail.sdsu.edu


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