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Waubonsee aims to send more students abroad

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2014 6:30 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 3, 2014 6:33 p.m. CDT
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Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove has pledged to triple the annual number of students who study abroad. Destinations could include France, Ireland (pictured), Spain, Costa Rica, Austria and England.

SUGAR GROVE – In coming years, Waubonsee Community College intends to send more students overseas as part of study-abroad programs.

With the intent of broadening educational and cultural learning opportunities available to students, the community college will partner with the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative, which launched March 3.

Generation Study Abroad is a five-year initiative that will mobilize resources and commitments from a coalition of employers, governments and associations toward the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade, according to a news release.

“Our college will turn our study-abroad program from a passive opportunity into a proactive program, seeking and recruiting students,” said Dr. Melinda James, Waubonsee’s vice president of student development, in the release.

More than 150 institutions of higher education from 41 states have already agreed to partner with the study abroad initiative, states the release.

The initiative also has earned the support of key international bodies, including the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and foreign governments and organizations in China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.

At Waubonsee, the commitment to Generation Study Abroad will include a pledge to triple the annual number of Waubonsee students who study abroad, the release states.

Destinations could include France, Ireland, Spain, Costa Rica, Austria and England.

To support the goal, Waubonsee will create opportunities for underrepresented students to study abroad by increasing study-abroad scholarships, hosting study-abroad workshops each semester and creating more opportunities for students to interact with study-abroad counselors.

Waubonsee also intends to enhance its study-abroad Web page and create programs to prepare students before their departure.

Waubonsee will continue to partner with the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs to facilitate its study abroad programs.

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