Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
July 18, 1997

Students leave campus (and learn)

by Michelle Johnson

More Iowa State students are bidding bon voyage to the Ames campus through study or work abroad programs. Eighty percent more, to be exact.

During the 1996--97 academic year, 569 students took advantage of one of Iowa State's 50 study and work abroad programs. That's 254 more students than last year, according to Trevor Nelson, program coordinator in the ISU International Students and Scholars office. In study abroad programs only, the increase was 102 percent over a year ago.

Nelson said several factors contributed to the surge. Project Assist, now two years old, helps faculty with some of the logistics of programs. Taking some of that load off faculty has made study abroad programs more appealing to them, he said.

In addition, scholarship dollars available for study and work abroad programs have more than tripled. President Martin Jischke added $50,000 annually to the scholarship fund for students studying abroad and Iowa State's Study Abroad and Exchange Committee awarded more money to faculty to make initial site visits abroad to set up student programs.

"Enthusiasm by our faculty for these programs has grown tremendously," he said. "The key is getting them, and their departments, on board and really invested in the concept of study abroad."

By the year 2000, Iowa State officials hope to have 750 students studying and working abroad annually, Nelson said.

Study and work abroad opportunities are offered in more than 35 countries and can last for a summer, semester or full academic year. More than half of Iowa State's current offerings are in the summer. Some of the more popular study abroad locations include England, Costa Rica, Italy and Australia.

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