William & Mary maintains leadership in study abroad among public universities
by Kate Hoving, W&M Reves Center
20 December 2021
William & Mary ranks fourth among public universities nationwide for study abroad programs, according to the Open House® 2021 Report published Nov. 15 by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State. In the 2019/2020 academic year, according to IIE criteria, 410 William & Mary undergraduates studied abroad for academic credit during their undergraduate careers. IIE calculates that this is a participation rate upon graduation of 27%.
William & Mary has consistently ranked among the best, ranking # 1 nine times in the past 13 years. Prior to the pandemic, in the 2018/2019 academic year, according to IIE criteria, 857 William & Mary undergraduates studied abroad for academic credit, representing an attendance rate of 55 % upon graduation as calculated by IIE.
William & Mary also ranks eighth nationally for long-term study abroad participants among all doctoral-granting universities.
“Despite unprecedented global disruption under pandemic conditions, William & Mary remains among the national leaders in study abroad participation rates among public universities,” said Stephen E. Hanson, vice-president of academic affairs and international. “This is a true testament to the enduring commitment of our students, faculty and staff to the cause of global education. “
Study abroad at William & Mary: prioritize opportunities, diversity and accessibility
The William & Mary’s Reves Center for International Studies offers students a diverse selection of study abroad opportunities through the Global Education Office (GEO), including over $ 700,000 per year for scholarships. study abroad, one of many efforts to reduce financial barriers. Students receive support, information, resources and advice on various study abroad programs and international academic exchanges through GEO, which also offers workshops, peer counseling and reintegration assistance for students returning from their study abroad experience.
New in 2021 is the Colin Powell Global Engagement Scholarship, an endowment fund in honor of General Colin L. Powell DPS ’88, to begin awarding scholarships in the 2024-2025 academic year to at least six exceptional students who wish to study. abroad.
“Despite the many challenges the pandemic has presented to global mobility, the W&M community’s deep commitment to global education has been unwavering. Some students have continued to study abroad for the past 20 months and the programs have moved to the distance format during the peak of the pandemic, ”said Sylvia Mitterndorfer, director of global education for the Reves Center. “We are seeing tremendous enthusiasm and interest from our students to study abroad and plan to return to pre-pandemic participation once study abroad and travel becomes more widely possible again. . “
The effect of the global pandemic on study abroad in general
According to Open Doors®, the global COVID-19 pandemic has affected US study abroad programs across the country and to all global destinations, causing an overall drop of 53%. In the 2019/20 academic year, 162,633 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit.
Declines in study abroad programs in the United States occurred primarily during the spring and summer of 2020. Summer programs, which accounted for 39% of all study programs at the foreigners in the United States in 2018/19, decreased by 99% in 2019/20.
In the spring of 2020, 867 U.S. higher education institutions launched emergency efforts to return students to the United States, bringing 55,000 students home after graduation from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of these efforts, study abroad programs in the United States have been able to pivot and provide alternative modes of study abroad. For example, 242 institutions reported offering global online learning experiences to more than 10,400 students. William & Mary offered virtual meetings, courses and experiences in Cambridge as well as Geneva. The Global Education Office has also made process innovations, such as virtual counseling and office tours.
“Our commitment to Americans studying abroad is a commitment to our collective future,” said Ethan Rosenzweig, assistant assistant secretary for academic programs, Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State. “As study abroad slowly returns, we need to re-engage. to ensure that study abroad becomes increasingly accessible and reflects the rich diversity of the United States. “
United States remained open to international students during COVID-19 pandemic
In the 2020/21 academic year, 914,095 international students pursued studies at U.S. colleges and universities, down 15% from the previous academic year. These students made up 5% of all U.S. higher education students and, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, contributed $ 39 billion to the U.S. economy in 2020.
Over 710,000 international students enrolled at undergraduate, graduate and non-graduate levels in over 200 places of origin. In addition, more than 200,000 international students have taken the OPT, a welcome opportunity for students to gain hands-on work experiences in the United States after university studies.
“International students are at the heart of the free flow of ideas, innovation, economic prosperity and peaceful relations among nations,” said Matthew Lussenhop, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department’s Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs. of American state.
International students at William & Mary: a truly global community
The Reves Center Students, Scholars and International Programs (ISSP) office interacts with more than 1,000 students, academics, alumni and dependents each year. William & Mary currently has nearly 600 enrolled international students, graduate and undergraduate students, in several disciplines and professional schools. They represent more than 60 countries.
Eva Wong, director of International Students, Scholars and Programs (ISSP) at Reves Center, notes that the importance of an international academic community is at the heart of William & Mary’s mission.
“International student enrollment in the United States has been significantly affected by the global pandemic. However, two years after the start of the pandemic, the university is starting to see the numbers rebound. As William and Mary move towards Vision 2026, I have no doubts that we will continue to be innovative to raise our national and global profile. “
The impact of the global W&M community also has an economic impact on the region. Based on data from NAFSA: The Association of International Educators, International Students and Academics of the Williamsburg Area in 2020-2021 impacted the economy of the 2nd District of the US Congress by over $ 30.5 million, supporting 405 jobs.