International experiences

Although Purdue has one of the nation's largest populations of international students, it has historically had a very low percentage of students who study abroad. If our students are to graduate with the cultural competencies needed to be sucessful in the world that awaits Boilermakers after graduation, then offering international experiences isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. Purdue faculty and staff believe that it is only through immersive study abroad experiences that students can fully understand issues from a global perspective and develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to thrive in the international community. 

Goals

  • Double the number of students participating in study abroad opportunities, especially those of a semester or longer.
  • Make study abroad as cost-neutral as possible for students by increasing scholarships and financial aid.
  • Enact a cultural shift, impressing the importance of international experiences.
  • Increase immersive, semester-long experiences in diverse cultures.
  • Provide incentive awards to departments and schools for study abroad programs and participation.
  • Promote student learning of the University Core Curriculum Embedded Outcomes of cultural self-awareness, knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks, empahty, verbal and nonverbal communication, curiosity and openness. 

Accomplishments

  • During the 2016-17 academic year, more than 2,400 students studied abroad, up 85 percent since 2013. 
  • Approximately 25 percent of undergraduates have studied abroad before graduation. 
    • In particular, more than 120 undergraduate students in Horizons, Purdue's support program for first-generation and low-income students, have participated in summer study abroad programs through Horizons since 2012, at a cost of only about 35 percent of the expense of a traditional study abroad program. 
    • After piloting a program with Horizons in May 2016, Purdue Promise completed its own inaugural three-week reduced-cost study abroad trip in May 2017 with 20 students. All of the participants were low-income students, 55 percent were first-generation and 30 percent were underrepresented minorities, representing a significant success in expanding access for populations that historically do not study abroad. 
  • Study abroad scholarships of up to $3,000 are available for undergraduate Boilermakers based on financial need (amount based on duration of study abroad experience).
  • In October 2015, Purdue launched the Host-A-Boiler program, which pairs students from outside of Indiana or the U.S. with a local host during Thanksgiving and winter breaks, so that both the host and the student can learn from and about each other’s culture. Over the last two years, this program, combined with other programs that similarly pair students throughout the year, has led to the matching of approximately 600 Boilermakers with a community resident in friendship. 

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