By Peter Tormey
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University ranks No. 10 nationwide among its peer institutions for the number of students – 57 – who took part in long-term study abroad programs during the 2009-10 academic year, according to the new report Open Doors 2011 issued by the Institute of International Education.
Gonzaga officials say the rankings reflect the increasing significance of a global education.
“Gonzaga’s study abroad opportunities continue to draw many students to the University as they recognize the importance of global education in today’s job market,” said Wanda Reynolds, director of Gonzaga’s Study Abroad programs.
Gonzaga ranks No. 16 nationwide among Top 40 Master’s Institutions for undergraduates’ participation in study abroad during the 2009-10 academic year; 461 undergraduates studied abroad during the period, accounting for 45 percent of the 1,025 undergraduate degrees Gonzaga conferred in 2009-10.
Gonzaga ranks No. 19 nationwide among its peers for the total number of students – 534 – who studied abroad in 2009-10; this measure includes all Gonzaga students – undergraduate, graduate and law – the Washington, D.C.-based institute reported.
Overall, study abroad by students enrolled in U.S. higher education has more than tripled the past two decades. The number of U.S. students who studied abroad for credit in 2009-10 rose to 270,604 from 260,327 in 2008-09.
The institute collaborates with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to publish the Open Doors report annually. The increase in this year’s report reflects a steady rise in study abroad numbers annually since the data have been tracked, except for the 2008-09 academic year, when world economic conditions caused a slight dip. Gonzaga offers 26 study-abroad programs. Its most popular and longest-running program is Gonzaga-in-Florence (Italy).