Prepare Whitworth's Students to be Global Citizens
For the past five years, Whitworth has ranked in the top 10 of master's-level universities in the U.S. for undergraduate student participation in study-abroad programs, according to the national standards journal Open Doors. The publication is issued by the Institute of International Education, an independent not-for-profit organization in partnership with the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; it tracks nationwide study-abroad participation, providing analysis of trends and rankings of all categories of universities.
Whitworth's participation rate during past years has ranged from 53 percent to 73 percent, with the increase in numbers due in part to evaluators following a more accurate participation percentage that counts total participation in a given year (since some students study abroad more than once).
Accurate percentage reporting aside, most credit for increased participation must go to staff members at the International Student Center on campus, who inspire students to expand their horizons and who work to make global opportunities available. Sue Jackson, director of the International Student Center, was thrilled to receive the Open Doors ranking as well as the number-one ranking in the Pacific Northwest for undergraduate participation in study abroad.
One example of the lasting influence of study abroad came in an email to Jackson from a student who graduated long ago. He wrote that because of the impact of his own experience, he carefully saved enough disposable income – earmarked for Whitworth's study- abroad scholarships – to make his first contribution.
"It is a joy to be able to witness the positive impact study abroad has on our students," Jackson says. "They experience growth academically, interculturally, personally and spiritually. Often, they acquire important skills that help them get meaningful jobs once they have graduated from Whitworth. These experiences continue to have an impact upon our students long after they leave Whitworth."