SELINSGROVE — Susquehanna University ranks among the best in the nation for undergraduate participation in study abroad, according to the Open Doors 2020 annual report on student mobility.
According to the report, which uses data from the 2018-2019 academic year, Susquehanna ranks No. 1 in Pennsylvania and No. 12 nationwide for the percentage of students who studied abroad, with 100% of the student body completing at least one study-abroad program.
Susquehanna ranked fifth nationally for the total number of students who studied abroad during the 2018-19 academic year, with 518 students. The university ranked first in Pennsylvania and 10th nationally among baccalaureate colleges for the number of students who completed short-term study-abroad programs.
Susquehanna is one of only a handful of schools in the nation that requires a study-away experience for all students. Through the Global Opportunities program, students study in a culture different from their own for at least two weeks or as long as a semester. About 95% of students choose to study in another country. The rest complete their cross-cultural experience within the United States. Susquehanna provides more than $750,000 in aid annually to students to support short-term study-away programs. Students taking a traditional semester abroad continue to pay at-home tuition and all financial aid supports their experience.
Susquehanna’s study-away program is distinguished from others in that study away is a graduation requirement pinned to a pair of bookended, credit-bearing courses taught by professors. One course prepares students for their upcoming experiences, and a reflection course requires them to deliberate over their time spent away from campus.
The 2020 Open Doors report, released by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education, provides a critical baseline on the state of international educational exchange prior to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a profound impact on our ability to send our students abroad,” said Scott Manning, dean of global programs at Susquehanna. “However, despite this, we have still found ways to provide a cross-cultural experience for our students because we believe it is integral to their post-graduate success in a world that, as the pandemic has demonstrated, is increasingly interconnected.”
The Office of Global Programs created a course that interacts with two classes at the University of Nicosia in Nicosia, Cyprus. SU students have worked closely with their counterparts in Cyprus to create presentations. Susquehanna will eventually reflect on the entire experience, just like all GO students do. This pilot course is the basis for other virtual GO experiences in Italy, Spain, Kenya, South Africa, Japan, Austria and Poland that students will have over the winter and in spring 2021.
More than 40 students from the Sigmund Weis School of Business participated in remote international internships last summer with businesses across the globe. These students reflected on their internship experiences in a two-credit course offered by the Susquehanna’s Career Development Center.