The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranked 11th for the number of students earning credit to study abroad in the Institute of International Education’s 2022 Open Doors report on international educational exchange. The report presents comprehensive data on international students and scholars at US higher education institutions, as well as data on US students studying abroad for college credit.
According to Open Doors, the overall percentage of American students studying abroad is down 91% from the previous cycle, which is less than half of the last full pre-pandemic report of 2018-2019. However, the report shows the first signs of a return to studying abroad, with a 523% increase in the number of students going abroad in the summer of 2021 alone.
Barbara Stephenson, vice provost for global affairs, attributes Carolina’s high ranking to the University’s successful efforts to manage student health and safety risks at carefully selected sites so that Carolina students can benefit study abroad for most of the pandemic.
“When other universities have taken over their studies abroad, it’s been really difficult for a lot of them, but that wasn’t our experience,” Stephenson said. “We have relied on trusted partners to continue to offer safe study abroad programs with steady increases each semester. This approach has allowed us to truly deliver to our students.
This fall, attendance at UNC-Chapel Hill’s study abroad office programs reaches 110% of pre-pandemic levels, and by the end of the year, more than 2,000 people are expected to study abroad, more than any previous year.
The Carolina Study Abroad Office and the Kenan-Flagler Business School Global Programs Offices were the only two UNC-Chapel Hill units that continued study abroad activities during the pandemic. In addition to coordinating with trusted partners, they worked to reduce barriers to participation in other ways.
“Student health and safety was of the utmost importance to us when we reopened study abroad,” said Jason Kinnear, associate dean for study abroad and exchange at the Office of Study Abroad. ‘foreign. “Through cross-campus collaboration, we quickly pivoted to implement new risk management methods and systems.”
UNC-Chapel Hill ranked 5th for long-term (one-year) study abroad programs and 10th for medium-term (semester) study abroad programs among universities granting a doctorate.
Institutions have also created new ways for students to access global learning opportunities online. Carolina, for example, has offered virtual study abroad programs, virtual internships and virtual research courses and supported faculty in introducing collaborative online international learning courses.
The report also reflects a 7.5% increase in total international student enrollment in the United States for the 2021-2022 academic year. Carolina saw a 17.5% increase in international student enrollment over the same period with 2,501 students, the highest annual total ever recorded by the University.
The Open Doors report was released during International Education Week, a joint initiative of the US Department of State and the US Department of Education. This year’s theme was Open to Opportunity.