Media Advisory: WFU pledges to increase Study Abroad participation

Wake Forest University has pledged to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. The initiative is also focusing on increasing the diversity of the students who study abroad, ensuring quality and removing barriers to participation.

Wake Forest has committed to increasing the number of students who study abroad by aiming to achieve a 75 percent participation rate over the next five years.

“With 60 percent of our graduating seniors having had an overseas experience, we can say that study abroad is an important part of the undergraduate experience,” says Wake Forest’s Associate Provost for Global Affairs Kline Harrison. “Still, we recognize that there remains a significant population of students for whom study abroad has not become a reality. It is with these students in mind that Wake Forest joins IIE and colleagues across the country as we pledge to do our part to double the number of U.S students who study abroad.”

Examples of Wake Forest initiatives for meeting the Generation Study Abroad commitment include:

  • Opening 3-5 new Wake Forest semester and short-term programs;
  • Creating targeted study abroad scholarships for underrepresented populations; and
  • Expanding the Magnolia Abroad Access Program (MAAP) to provide support for all first-generation college students.

A total of 308 partners have joined Generation Study Abroad to date. They include: 241 U.S. colleges and universities from 46 states; 9 non-U.S. institutions; 13 education associations; 34 study abroad organizations; 11 U.S. and foreign government entities, including the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” says Allan Goodman, President of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad because the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career. According to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange released by IIE last November with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 295,000 students studied abroad in 2011/12 in credit-bearing and non-credit programs. Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade.

For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, go to:


About Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

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