- A group of minority-serving institutions have banded together through a collaboration with the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the Council on International Educational Exchange to increase the number of Latino, Asian, and black students who study abroad.
- University Business reports 75% of the nearly 300,000 study abroad students in 2014-15 were white, while only 7.6% were Latino, 7.3% were Asian, and 5.3% were black.
- Among the strategies colleges are using to change those numbers are helping students get their passports during freshmen orientation, requiring faculty to bring students for research projects abroad, signing exchange program agreements with universities abroad to make financial aid transfer easier, and offering short-term study abroad options for those who don’t want to or can’t leave for a whole semester.
The benefits of study abroad are becoming even more important for students preparing for careers in an increasingly globalized world. But study abroad is costly, especially in countries where the exchange rate is unfavorable for the dollar. For students funding much of their education with financial aid, the added cost is not possible. First-generation students may not have a support system encouraging them to take advantage of the international opportunities at their colleges. The new collaboration will encourage presidents of minority-serving institutions to be innovative with the traditional study abroad model, acknowledging the obstacles faced by certain students considering international travel.