USF World News

USF's Education Abroad Program Rises to an All-Time High in International Rankings

Group of students in Peru

(Peru -- USF Honors, Summer 2019) Honors students travel to Peru to participate in a service project as well as various cultural activities. Photo by Tyelyn Brigino.

November 18, 2019 | USF WORLD NEWS

TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of South Florida’s Education Abroad program has risen to 39th in the nation for all institutions and 30th among public universities, according to the most recent Open Doors annual report published by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  

Over the past five years, USF World’s commitment to graduating globally-competent students has resulted in a dramatic 54% increase in study abroad participation, and the university has leaped 25 places in the rankings to 39th. The most recent ranking reflects a total of 1,539 USF Tampa students who participated in an overseas study abroad while completing coursework towards their degree.

“Education abroad is a transformative and life changing opportunity for USF students," says Dr. Roger Brindley, Vice President for USF World. "We know that they benefit enormously from experiencing other cultures and perspectives, and valuing both what we have in common with other peoples as well as our differences. This is the power of international travel.”

Not only has overall study abroad participation significantly increased, the ethnic and racial diversity of the participants directly mirrors the rich diversity of the broader student population at USF. Currently, in the United States, approximately 70% of all college students studying abroad are Caucasian women. By contrast, USF Education Abroad launched an Inclusion Initiative in 2014 which has resulted in a 34% increase in study abroad participation among Latino students, a 49% increase among multi-racial students and a 55% increase among African American students. This strategic initiative was recognized by IIE with the 2019 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education (Access and Equity in Study Abroad Programming).

Peter in Copenhagen

(Copenhagen -- AIFS London Internship Program, 2017) Peter Kivuva, a Gilman Scholarship recipient and a GloBull Ambassador (GBA) with USF Education Abroad.

“At USF, study abroad experiences are designed for all students, not just a privileged few,” notes Dr. Kiki Caruson, AVP for Research, Innovation, and Global Affairs within USF World. “We take great pride in the fact that the demographic profile of our study abroad students differs very little from the larger student body. Once they return from an international experience, they join our Global Ambassadors student organization where they lead Inclusion Initiative programs designed to enfranchise students from all backgrounds in study abroad.”

In addition, over $1 million in scholarships, grants, and financial assistance has positively affected more than 1,000 Pell grant-eligible students by providing essential funding to support international experiences. USF was also #1 for student recipients of Summer Early Decision Gilman Scholarships (2019). These competitive scholarships are awarded nationally to need-based students who excel academically.

USF recently received The Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) 2019 Platinum Award for Global Learning, Research & Engagement. This prestigious award distinguishes USF as a model university for global higher education, including education abroad programming. The timing of this achievement coincides with International Education Week (Nov. 18 - 22, 2019), which brings together the campus to celebrate global engagement.

APLU award

Receiving the Platinum APLU Award: Kiki Caruson (AVP for Research, Innovation and Global Affairs, USF World), Roger Brindley (VP, USF World) Steven Currall (President and CEO, USF), Peter McPherson (President, APLU), Ralph Wilcox (Provost and EVP, USF), Pritish Mukherjee (Vice Provost & AVP, Strategic Talent Recruitment, University Reputation and Impact, USF), Valeria Garcia (AVP, Office of Decision Support, USF) and Morgan Holmes (Director, Office of Corporate Partnerships, USF)