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Doane joins national coalition to double study abroad students

Doane College has reaffirmed its commitment to global education by joining “Generation Study Abroad,” the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) national coalition of college and universities seeking to double the number of American study abroad students by the end of the decade.

Doane is the only liberal arts and sciences school in Nebraska affiliated with the program, which counts 241 colleges and universities nationwide among its contingent. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska-Omaha are the only other schools in the state joining Doane in the national partnership.

Individually, Doane is announcing an ambitious goal to double its own number of students who will study abroad, said President Jacque Carter.

“We believe globalization is here to stay, and we want to ensure that our students graduate with the international experience, language capabilities and cross-cultural communication skills necessary to succeed in the global economy,” Dr. Carter said.

International study is a pillar of Doane’s liberal arts and sciences education. In the 2013-14 academic year, the college had students studying in 22 countries across six continents. The college also boasts a rich tradition with the Fulbright Program, with a string of 61 scholars dating back to 1952.

To reach the goal of doubling its number of study abroad students, the college is removing barriers to the feasibility of foreign study. Revisions to credit-bearing, short-term study abroad programs led by the college’s faculty will enable more students to use their travel scholarship. So will curriculum changes, which are making it easier to integrate study abroad into a four-year education. To help make international study more accessible to underrepresented students, Doane will be fundraising and reaching out to students in the TRIO program and those with Pell Grants.

The college is also building relationships with business partners and overseas alumni to expand the number and variety of international internship opportunities.

Plus, Doane’s new College to Career Center is already proving to be an effective link to international programs for students.

“With the new College to Career Center, we have already increased the number of internships abroad,” said Doane’s Director of International Programs Janet M. Willems. “Collaboration between the International Programs Office and College to Career Center has made it easier for Doane students to gain the experience needed to succeed in the global marketplace. Study abroad and international internships give Doane students and Doane graduates an advantage in the job market. Skills gained through experiential learning abroad makes Doane students more competitive.”

Doane is one of 308 total partners in “Generation Study Abroad.” Aside from the 241 colleges and universities in 46 different states, there are 34 study abroad organizations, 13 education associations, 11 U.S. and foreign government entities and nine foreign institutions. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is one of the key government partners involved.