Faculty and Staff

Your role is an important one

 "The United States' capacity to lead in the twenty-first century demands that we school new generations...in cultural and social realities beyond what they may have grown up with. ... Americans need to know more about the world."

- Sen. Richard J. Durbin in The International Educator, Jan./Feb. 2006

Faculty and staff play a crucial role in supporting study abroad.  In the "survey" section of the study abroad application, students often tell us that their most common inspiration for going abroad is information or encouragement provided by a faculty member or an advisor.  

You can encourage students to go abroad by

  • printing our Regional Handouts and displaying them in your office/advising area or distributing them in class
  • calling our office to request special materials or a specialized presentation to highlight programs that would work best for YOUR students (contact our office at 765-494-2383)
  • incorporating an international dimension in class lectures
  • sending students to our office for an "on-campus field trip"
  • encouraging them to consult our office for information on important study abroad questions such as prerequisites, costs and program choice (there are numerous misconceptions in circulation)
  • encouraging them to consider an Overseas Research Internship (open to undergrads or grad students) if more conventional study abroad options don't work.

How long to go abroad?

We suggest that you encourage your students to challenge themselves by going abroad for a whole semester.  Many Purdue students go abroad for six-week programs in the summer, and while this can be a richly rewarding experience, students learn more and grow more if they spend longer periods of time abroad.  One of the comments most frequently heard from returned students is that they regret not having done a longer program.

Data from the 2005 "Open Doors" report on international education shows that only 6% of US university students who studied abroad in the previous year did so for a full academic year; 38% went for a semester, and 56% went for no longer than a summer (International Educator, March/April 2006, p. 23). Likewise data from the 2009 "Open Doors" report remains consistent with these figures.

Another way of being involved

In addition to encouraging student participation, faculty members can also participate in study abroad programs themselves, serving as instructors and/or resident directors on selected study abroad programs.  To see a short movie on one of our departmental-led programs, click here.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty are also eligible to apply to teach in one of Purdue's summer study abroad programs. Program offerings change each year.