ASU among leading institutions for study abroad participation


Carrie Herrera Niesen

For its third consecutive year, Arizona State University has increased the number of students participating in credit-bearing, study abroad programs. This increased ranking is a direct reflection of the pointed work to make study abroad accessible to students across all disciplines.

Open Doors, an annual report published by the nonprofit Institute of International Education, released their annual national rankings this week. ASU maintained its ranking as the top public university in the US for international students for the third year in a row.

Rankings by leading institution for study abroad are determined by the number of students universities send on study abroad programs per year. ASU tails Florida State University (no. 12), the University of Georgia (no. 13) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (no. 14) by less than 50 students.

These rankings, based on 2015–16 student participation, are released each year during International Education Week. Throughout this academic year, 2,222 ASU students participated in a study abroad program. Jumping from not being ranking in 2012–13, ASU ranked No. 25 in 2013–14, No. 18 in 2014–2015 and now sits as the No. 15 leading institution for supporting domestic students in international program participation.

ASU study abroad director, Adam Henry attributes the growth of study abroad participation to ASU’s focus and strategy to make study abroad more accessible to more students, with a strong focus on reducing academic and financial barriers.

“We are collaborating with faculty and academic advisors from ASU colleges and schools to establish a menu of program options that fit directly to a student’s ASU major,” Henry said. “We have also increased our scholarship offerings to see more students engage globally, including students who have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad enrollments. These experiences provide students the opportunity to build new skills and knowledge that will be advantageous to them as they enter any profession.”

The top six study abroad host countries were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, China and Australia. Students from all ASU campuses are represented in this figure, including ASU Online. The top five disciplines represented in study abroad enrollments include business, health, interdisciplinary studies, journalism and social sciences. ASU students predominantly participated in short-term programs (ranging from two to eight weeks) during the summer months.

ASU is a nationwide leader in the development and promotion of study abroad opportunities for students. Earlier in 2017, ASU (in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State) developed and implemented a study abroad massive open online course (MOOC) — Study Abroad USA: Building Capacity for U.S. Institutions. Today, there are over 4,000 learners in the course from all over the world to learn about best practices in study abroad program administration. The Study Abroad Office at ASU offers more than 250 program options in more than 65 countries, with program lengths ranging from one week to one year. Financial aid and scholarships apply to semester and year-long programming. Learn more at