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Lucky 13? CSB and SJU ranked among top study abroad schools

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November 13, 2017

Student and Kangaroo

A CSB student gets up close and personal with a kangaroo during her study abroad experience in Australia.

Sometimes, 13 is considered to be an unlucky number.

But not for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, when it comes to study abroad.

For the 13th consecutive year, CSB and SJU are ranked among the top baccalaureate schools nationally for the total number of students who studied abroad.

That was one of the findings of Open Doors 2017, the annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

The 2017 report, which was released Monday, Nov. 13, found:

  • CSB and SJU are ranked No. 4 among baccalaureate schools with a total of 553 students who studied abroad during the 2015-16 school year, the most recent data measured by the IIE. CSB and SJU have been ranked among the top six schools nationally in this category for the past 13 years. Only one Minnesota private college was ranked higher in this category – St. Olaf College at No. 1 (633 students).
  • CSB and SJU are ranked No. 2 among baccalaureate schools with 355 students who studied abroad in mid-length study abroad programs during 2015-16. The IIE defines mid-length study abroad programs as lasting one semester or one or two quarters (CSB and SJU operate under the semester system). Only one college ranked higher in this category – Colgate University (382 students).

Before graduating, 64 percent of all CSB and SJU students will participate in a study abroad program. CSB and SJU annually offer students 19 semester-long programs, 15 of which are faculty-led. CSB and SJU also conduct more than 15 short-term study abroad programs.

“CSB/SJU’s rankings in the Open Doors report confirm our commitment to study abroad as an integral component of an undergraduate education,” said Barb May, academic dean and interim director of the Center for Global Education at CSB and SJU. “We strive to help our students develop a culturally diverse and global perspective that is so important in today’s world.”  

May pointed out that students from CSB and SJU visit diverse parts of the world, including India, China, Japan, Australia and Fiji, Guatemala, Chile, Ecuador, Sweden, Ireland, Greece and Italy.

“Not only do students participate in coursework while abroad, but internships, service learning, and other experiential opportunities exist in many of our programs,” May said. “Study abroad provides unforgettable experiences that can transform a student’s perspective and learning.”

The 2017 Open Doors report found that 325,339 Americans studied abroad for academic credit from their colleges and universities in 2015-16. That represented an increase of 3.8 percent over 2014-15. The leading destinations for U.S. students are (in order) the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.

International students studying at U.S. colleges and universities was a record 1,078,822 students in 2016-17 (an increase of 3.4 percent), topping the 1 million mark for the second consecutive academic year. The top origin countries for students coming to the U.S. were (in order) China, India and South Korea.