Focus on Affordability
Make study abroad more affordable
“Learning in another country is an educational necessity, and making study abroad a core component of a Purdue education will help students grow, learn and prepare themselves to make an impact in a global economy.”
Daniels said encouraging more students to have intercultural experiences is part of the broader push toward student success and making sure that students succeed at the highest possible levels through meaningful experiences during their time at Purdue.
“We know there are many more students interested in study abroad than actually do it,” said Suresh Garimella, Purdue’s chief global affairs officer. “There are multiple challenges keeping them from it, but the financial incentives were a critical barrier. This initiative neutralizes the cost for students to go overseas.”
The idea behind the “cost-neutral” aspect of the initiative is that it would make the cost of an international experience nearly the same as the cost of studying in West Lafayette.
“For many overseas expenses, the $3,000 award should offset the additional expenses associated with travel and the cost of living,” said Michael Brzezinski, dean of international programs. “The $1,000 award for credit-bearing experiences less than a semester in length will go a long way to making these experiences more affordable for the students.”
The initiative was designed to give a greater incentive to those who study abroad for a semester or longer, because Purdue is encouraging longer, immersive experiences that are more conducive to increasing intercultural knowledge of students. The incentive applies only to credit-bearing experiences that count toward an academic degree.
“We don’t want students to lose time toward completing a degree, so it’s important that students know how the program will contribute to their plan of study,” Brzezinski said.
The scholarships are for one-time use only, but a student can apply for both the $1,000 and $3,000 awards during their time at Purdue, simply not at the same time.
Brzezinski anticipates a double-digit percent increase in the number of students who will study abroad next semester due to the initiative. Since the initiative was announced after the deadline for spring applications, it likely didn’t have a full effect on the application process for this year, he said.
“We are convinced that the study-abroad scholarships will have an impact, for they mitigate the financial concerns of undergraduate students,” said Brian Harley, associate dean of international programs and director of study abroad.
Easing the financial burden of study abroad is one leg of the initiative. Another part includes curricular integration, as only experiences that contribute to the student’s degree (creditbearing) will be supported. A third leg is collaboration, where everyone in the Purdue community will contribute to the initiative’s success, including those in the bursar’s office, registrar’s office, admissions, academic advisors, faculty and deans and department heads. The fourth part is support, where faculty will receive incentives to encourage more participation, and an incentive award will be offered to every department or school that successfully identifies, develops and implements a strategic international institutional partnership.