International experiences

Although Purdue has one of the nation’s largest populations of international students, we have historically had a low percentage of students who study abroad. Through immersive study abroad experiences, our students will more fully understand issues from a world perspective, have the opportunity to practice and master a foreign language, and prepare to compete successfully in a global economy. 


  • Double the number of undergraduate 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, empathy, verbal and nonverbal communication, curiosity and openness.

Major Milestones

  • Nearly twice as many students studied aboard during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years than during the 2012-13 academic year.


  • The percentage of Purdue graduates in 2018 who had a study abroad experience reached an all-time high of 28.8%. 
  • Nearly 70% more students now graduate having had a study abroad experience than in 2013. 
  • Purdue ranked 19th in the nation for study abroad with 2,149 credit-bearing domestic students participating in overseas experiences during the 2016-17 academic year, according to the Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
  • In particular, more than 120 undergraduate students in Horizons, Purdue's TRIO support services program for first-generation and low-income students, have participated in Horizons’ annual global leadership initiative, which enables students to study abroad at a reduced cost.
    • In partnership with Purdue Study Abroad, Horizons aims to remove barriers that often prevent students from participating in study abroad programming, including reducing the cost to approximately 35% of a traditional study abroad program.
    • The program has facilitated summer study abroad opportunities in seven different countries on three continents since 2012.
    • All participants are low-income; 64% identified as first-generation, and 46% identified as underrepresented minorities.
  • Study abroad scholarships of up to $5,000 are available for undergraduate Boilermakers based on financial need (amount based on duration of study abroad experience).
  • 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.
    • The trip was repeated in May 2018 and May 2019, and Purdue Promise has officially taken up residency in Spain.
    • Students are able to visit at least four cities for less than $500 per student, and most students are fully covered with grants and scholarships.
    • To date, the program has expanded access to students who represent populations that historically do not study abroad — all participants have been low-income; 61% identified as first-generation, and 45% identified as underrepresented minorities. With generous support from International Programs, Purdue Promise is sending a second group of 20 students to Scottland in May 2020, hopefully doubling the number of its student participants.