New program moves more Purdue students to study abroad

September 16, 2013  

Beijing Sport University

An instructor with the Beijing Sport University demonstrates traditional Chinese medicine practices to Purdue students from the Department of Health and Kinesiology. This May 2013 program in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai focused on differences between Eastern and Western approaches to physical activity, fitness, health and well-being. (Photo provided)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - More Purdue students will have the opportunity to study abroad thanks to the university's new plan to dramatically increase student participation and make it as close to cost neutral as possible with a new scholarship fund.

The goal is for a third of all undergraduate students to participate in an international study, internship or research credit-bearing experience before graduation. Currently, about 19 percent of students have participated in a study abroad program.

This study abroad plan is among several initiatives that have been developed from across the university and were announced at the Monday (Sept. 9) Faculty Senate meeting.

"This bold plan to increase learning opportunities through study abroad marks the first initiative to move the university forward in several critical areas," said Purdue president Mitch Daniels. "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."

Study Abroad hearing

Purdue students Emily Zinfon (standing), a senior in the undergraduate program in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, and Kate Geisen, a student in the doctor of audiology program, test the hearing of a student at the Deaf Bible Baptist School during a 2013 Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences study abroad program to Lusaka, Zambia in Africa. During the service-learning program, Purdue students participated in hearing clinics at the local hospitals and provided services to children and adults at the local schools for the deaf. (Photo provided)
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As part of the study abroad plan, Purdue will offer up to $3,000 to qualified undergraduate students who study abroad for a semester or academic year and up to $1,000 for qualified undergraduate students who participate in a shorter-term credit-bearing program. This plan will commence with the Spring 2014 semester. Students interested in more information can contact the Office of Programs for Study Abroad at

"Purdue students benefit from the international diversity on the West Lafayette campus, but the next step is for more students to learn in an international environment," said Suresh Garimella, the university's chief global affairs officer. "Purdue is ready for this as many faculty members across disciplines have developed programs that give students a variety of learning experiences from internships in London, to students in athletic training learning about Chinese medicine in Beijing, to engineering students participating in research projects or industrial internships abroad."

There will be an increased effort to promote study abroad programs, including an introduction at next year's Boiler Gold Rush new student orientation program. Purdue also will boost its collaboration with international institutions to ensure equivalent courses so students can prepare for the long term, and resources also will be available to students to help them plan and identify study abroad programs that fit into their academic course of study.

There also will be faculty 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.

"The Office of Programs for Study Abroad has program fairs and many promotions on campus, but we find one of the best efforts to promote studying abroad is the students who return," Garimella said. "They often speak to groups and encourage their friends. We know there is interest, and we hope this additional support makes it possible for more students to participate."

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Sources: Mitch Daniels,

Suresh Garimella, 765-494-9095,

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