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UW-Madison: Ranked first for semester study abroad participation

CONTACT: Steve Barcus, (608) 262-5590, sbarcus@wisc.edu

MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been ranked as No. 1 for semester-long study abroad participation among all U.S. public institutions, and No. 14 among all U.S. universities and colleges for total students studying abroad, up two positions from the previous year, according to the Open Doors Report.

The Open Doors Report, which is released each year at the start of International Education Week, is published by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

During the 2015-16 academic year, 2,244 UW-Madison students studied abroad - a 4 percent increase over the previous year. Approximately 56 percent of those students elected to participate in semester-long and yearlong programs.

The university continues to lead Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions in semester and yearlong study abroad participation. Open Doors listed UW-Madison as number one for long-term participation (academic and calendar year) in the Big Ten. The university was ranked sixth among all U.S. institutions. Last year it ranked seventh.

"Such high participation in semester and yearlong programs is a unique hallmark of UW-Madison," says Dan Gold, director of International Academic Programs, the university's largest study abroad office. "The average semester and yearlong participation for U.S. institutions is 34 percent. This is a very positive indicator that our students and faculty see the benefits of participating in longer study abroad experiences."

Gold also noted that he has seen increasing interest from students in domestic study away programs and the Wisconsin in Washington D.C. Internship Program, which allows students to focus on domestic or international policy issues while living in the nation's capital.

International students continue to be drawn to UW-Madison's educational programs. The report ranked UW-Madison as No. 26 on the list of Top 40 Doctoral-Granting Universities Enrolling International Students in 2016-17. The number of international students at UW-Madison grew by more than 5 percent over the previous year, increasing from 6,440 to 6,769.

"International students are important to the culture and academic landscape of the University of Wisconsin-Madison," says Guido PodestŠ, vice provost and dean of the International Division. "Campus and the surrounding community benefit from the diverse perspectives they bring to Wisconsin. These students often continue to become engaged alumni who use their influence and resources to create even more opportunities for the next generation of UW-Madison students."

Wisconsin benefits statewide from the presence of international students. According to a report by NAFSA, the estimated expenditure for the 13,220 international students studying in Wisconsin during the 2016-17 academic year was $396.3 million, supporting 5,043 additional jobs. Nationally, international students contribute $36.9 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 450,000 jobs.


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