Central Arizona College Joins the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative

Central Arizona College has joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans to gain international experience through study abroad programs. This is one of more than 450 new commitments announced by IIE.

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade.  

Since 2003, CAC has offered an exchange with China that allows two students and one faculty member to travel to China for one semester. The college also hosts two students and a faculty member from China each year. The college offers a Mexico Spanish summer language immersion program and is actively pursuing new opportunities for students.

Under the new partnership, CAC will take concrete, action-oriented steps to expand opportunities for study abroad. The college is working to expand on opportunities currently offered as well as add new destinations such as Ireland and Spain.

“A study abroad experience is transformational and can be life-changing,” stated Sherrie Licón, Director of Student Retention. “CAC is planning to expand opportunities available to students to study abroad while ensuring that those opportunities are accessible to Pinal County residents.”

As of October 2015, the IIE-led Generation Study Abroad initiative now includes more than 600 partner organizations, including 350 U.S. colleges and universities, and 100 from outside of the United States. Study abroad organizations and education associations as well as 14 country partners around the world have also joined. In addition, 500 K-12 teachers from 50 states have pledged to take action to encourage their students to develop a global perspective and consider studying abroad when they are in college.

IIE launched Generation Study Abroad early this year in the belief that 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 published by IIE with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 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.

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

About Generation Study Abroad

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to significantly increase study abroad participation by bringing employers, governments, associations, and others together to build on current best practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing programs. Generation Study Abroad will sustain an ongoing dialogue about the need for more students from all backgrounds and in all fields to gain international experience. This will include research to identify and break down barriers hindering students from studying abroad, communications to share strategies and best practices to increase study abroad, and fundraising to mobilize additional financial resources. 

About Central Arizona College

For more than 45 years, Central Arizona College has been serving and educating the diverse communities of Pinal County.  With eight campuses and centers located strategically throughout the county, CAC provides accessible, educational, economic, cultural, and personal growth opportunities for those of all ages.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

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