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Study Abroad Participation Increases 22.5 Percent among Gonzaga Undergraduates

Gonzaga students in Glasgow, Scotland. (GU photo)

SPOKANE, Wash. – A total of 654 Gonzaga University undergraduates studied abroad in 2016-17, a 22.5 percent increase from the previous year, ranking GU No. 14 nationwide (among peer institutions) for the number of undergraduates who studied abroad, according to the 2017 Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education.

The new data indicate 52.6 percent of all Gonzaga undergraduates study abroad by the time they graduate, a milestone for Gonzaga, said Richard Menard, director of study abroad. Gonzaga ranks No. 12 in the nation among peer institutions for its percentage of undergraduates studying abroad before they graduate, up from its No. 22 ranking in 2015-16.

“We have reached our strategic goal,” said Menard. “Our rankings have moved up significantly.”

Gonzaga’s sharp increase in undergraduate study abroad participation compares to a 4-percent increase in the number of American undergraduates studying abroad in 2016-17, according to the report.

The report also ranks Gonzaga No. 6 nationwide (among its peers) for the total number of undergraduate students (377) studying abroad for a full semester in 2016-17, up from a No. 9 ranking the previous year.

Gonzaga students in Zambia.

“This is credited in no small part to Gonzaga’s half-century old program in Florence, Italy,” Menard said, noting Gonzaga in Florence is in its 54th year and is the foundation of the University’s study abroad program, which places students in more than 50 locations worldwide. GIF is housed in the Mozilo Center, a short walk to downtown Florence.

Joseph Kinsella, assistant academic vice president for global engagement, said he is proud of the GU study abroad team.

“Now that we have extraordinarily strong numbers going abroad, our job is to ensure that the other half of our student body, students who do not study abroad, are able to experience people and ideas from around the world,” Kinsella said. “The work for the Center for Global Engagement is to nurture and build our global community on campus and abroad, helping our students as well as our faculty and staff gain in intercultural competence and understanding.”

View the report and associated data at https://www.iie.org/en/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors.

For more information, contact Richard Menard at (509) 313-3583 or menardr@gonzaga.edu.

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