CIEE hosted more than 500 study abroad professionals and administrators from institutions of higher education at its 2014 Annual Conference, November 19-22, in Baltimore.
“Breaking Barriers: Cost, Curriculum, Culture” was chosen as this year’s conference theme to highlight the fact that only 10 percent of U.S. students study abroad. With an aim toward attracting more students to this enriching experience, conference participants took part in interactive sessions, presentations, and networking events to generate new ways to make study abroad more affordable, integrate international perspectives into curriculum, and communicate the benefits of international education.
James P. Pellow, ED.D - CIEE President & CEO
CIEE’s pledge to support the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad™ high-profile initiative was the highlight of the conference. IIE has challenged those involved in the field of study abroad to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad to 600,000 by 2020. To make it financially easier for students to do so, CIEE has committed to awarding $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students by the end of the decade. Further, CIEE will fund passports for 10,000 students and give an annual $20,000 faculty grant to support innovative approaches to study abroad.
To address curricular barriers, the study abroad leader also pledged to add more International Faculty Development Seminars and expand its Faculty-Led and Custom Programs. To break cultural barriers, CIEE will launch a media campaign to encourage study abroad by sharing students’ success stories, expand its work with minority-serving institutions to 100 schools by 2020, and give 25 full scholarships to students with disabilities in 2015, in partnership with Mobility International USA.
Freeman Hrabowski, Ph.D.
In his opening speech, CIEE President and Chief Executive Officer James P. Pellow, Ed.D., noted that last year, the number of international students coming to the United States increased 8 percent to 886,000, including 274,000 Chinese. But the number of U.S. students studying abroad increased just 2 percent to 289,000.
“There are three times as many international students coming to the United States as we are sending abroad,” noted Pellow. “And the gap is growing. Next year, the number of Chinese studying in the United States is expected to surpass the number of all U.S. students studying abroad.”
Michelle Norris, NPR, leader of The Race Card Project
Presentations included addresses by Freeman Hrabowski, Ph.D., president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), who spoke the importance of bold ideas and experimentation as he shared success stories from UMBC; Allan Goodman, president and CEO of IIE, who shared the latest data on study abroad participation and how we can improve them; and Michele Norris, National Public Radio host and special correspondent and leader of The Race Card Project, who shared provocative thoughts on how we approach race and diversity in America that tie into cultural barriers to study abroad.
The conference also featured the concluding session of the Diversity Abroad Future Leaders Summit. CIEE and Diversity Abroad co-hosted these events to share best practices and develop ideas to increase diversity in study abroad. During the last of three sessions held this year, 20 young leaders of change in international education explored new ways to balance study abroad cost and value, examine program systems and structures to minimize costs, and give students and parents the tools to make study abroad attainable.
Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE
“Studying abroad is one of the most important steps young people can take to ensure success in school and beyond,” said CIEE Chief Academic Officer for Study Abroad David F. Fougere. “Yet, many students are unable or choose not to pursue an international education experience. It’s critical that we change this, and at this year’s conference, we took huge strides toward making study abroad a reality for many more students.”
The 2015 CIEE Annual Conference – The Reinvention of Study Abroad: Setting the Course for 2020 – will be held November 4-7 in Berlin.