Report Ranks Baylor Second In Study Abroad Numbers

Dec. 16, 2002

Baylor University students continue to study abroad in record numbers, according to an Institute of International Education report. "Open Doors 2002" ranks Baylor second in the nation among doctoral universities for the number of students who participated in study abroad opportunities for 2000-2001. The report shows that 996 Baylor students took advantage of the university's study abroad programs. Baylor tied for sixth in the nation in "Open Doors 2001."

"We are extremely pleased that we are making great progress in our international programs," said Dr. Stephen Gardner, professor of economics and director of the Baylor's McBride Center for International Business. "International travel adds breadth and depth to our students' educational experience. They learn about the diversity of cultures, and they gain a new confidence from traveling in a foreign country. They often realize the growing importance of international economics. And for many, they gain a new appreciation for the United States and also a sense for what could be done to make this country better. International travel will provide them with rich memories and make them more interesting people."

Baylor sponsors 31 summer and semester study-abroad programs, which are taught by Baylor faculty, and 26 exchange programs in which the student takes classes at a foreign university. Baylor in Great Britain, the oldest study abroad program, remains the most popular. New international opportunities include group programs to Cuba and Austria and an exchange program to Rhodes University in South Africa. There are plans to add an exchange program to a university in Turkey.

The university is striving for even greater numbers of students who participate in a study-abroad experience at some point in their Baylor career. Imperative 11 of Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision, focuses on global education and sets a goal to increase the participation of Baylor undergraduate students in a study abroad experience to 30 percent.

"We have very strong programs in Western Europe, East Asia [China, Japan, Thailand, Korea] and some of Latin America," Gardner said. "I would like to see more chances for international study in South Asia [India, Pakistan], Africa and the Middle East. These can be some of the most challenging places for international study but also some of the most important."

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