USD Ranks No. 1 in Study Abroad Participation

The recently released Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors report has once again ranked the University of San Diego’s Study Abroad Program first in the nation among top doctoral granting institutions.

The report, which covers the 2010-11 academic year, marks USD’s second straight year at No. 1 for doctorate institutions. The newest data indicated USD’s strongest showing in participation and percentage rates to date. The report listed 1,031 USD students who did study abroad among its 1,188 conferred undergraduate degrees for an estimated participation percentage of 86.8. Those numbers were up sharply from the 2011 report with 825 students, 1,156 degrees and a 71.4 clip for the 2009-10 academic year.

According to Kira Espiritu, director of USD’s International Study Abroad program, “USD has gone from not being ranked among the top 40 in 2007 Open Doors report to sixth in 2008 and second in 2009 and 2010 before last year’s rise to the top.”

When asked what changes have catapulted USD’s rise to the top, Espiritu credits several factors including USD’s innovative Second-Year Experience Study Abroad Intersession program geared towards sophomore students and the increased number of students studying abroad for a full semester.

Denise Dimon, associate provost for International Affairs, said,“ The data strengthens USD’s deep commitment to internationalization, both abroad and at USD. Prospective students and parents are increasingly basing college decisions on an institution’s study abroad opportunities.”

“The study abroad numbers reflect that as a university community we’re committed to global understanding and citizenship. Our faculty engages in international research and collaborates with colleagues around the world. Our Center for Community Service-Learning and University Ministry engage students in compassionate service through local and global programs. Our Changemaker Hub is a catalyst for fostering change to help solve the world’s problems, recognizing our interconnectedness with others around the world, and we continue to increase our International Student enrollment,” Dimon said.
“The creation of the International Center five years ago was the culmination of one of the strategic initiatives of the university and all our stakeholders, ”added Dimon. “The International Center consolidated and built upon the efforts that have been taking place at USD for a very long time. This achievement reflects a focus on designing internationally relevant opportunities for our students for many years.”

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.