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Study abroad program grows, receives recognition

March  12, 2012

At the same time Augustana’s International and Off-Campus Programs Office received news from the Institute of International Education that Augustana is a leader in study abroad, the college finalized a new exchange agreement with Uppsala University of Sweden.

According to Dr. Allen Bertsche, director of international and off-campus programs, Augustana was recently ranked 36th in the nation among baccalaureate colleges for the number of students studying abroad in the 2009-2010 academic year, with 286 students taking advantage of one or more high-impact, international experiences.

About the ranking, Dr. Bertsche said, “Not that numbers are the best measure of our study abroad programs, it is still good to see our name on this list as one of the top providers of study abroad programs.” He added, “We will continue to work on ensuring that even as our numbers remain high, the quality of learning in our programs is always our primary focus.”

Looking ahead, Dr. Bertsche anticipates the college will maintain its new foothold as a study abroad leader thanks to growing student involvement. He estimates more than 300 Augustana students will study abroad during this current academic year.

The new Uppsala opportunity supports the continued growth in international study at Augustana, and it connects Augustana even more deeply with its Swedish roots, by giving students the opportunity to study in Sweden for a semester or a year. At the same time, it will bring Swedish students to study in Rock Island. Dr. Bertsche anticipates the first students will enroll in this program for fall 2012 classes.

This Uppsala exchange is one of seven exchange agreements Augustana holds with universities around the world, including longstanding programs in Germany (Passau, Regensburg and Eichstätt) and Lingnan University in Hong Kong, along with new programs at the University of Botswana in Gaborone and Kobe City University of Foreign Studies (Japan).

At Augustana, students choosing to study abroad can receive financial support from the college thanks to a program launched in 2009 – Augie Choice. Focused on advancing student learning in the liberal arts and in alignment with the college’s strategic plan, Augie Choice grants students in their junior year or beyond the opportunity to receive a one-time grant of $2,000 to offset the expenses of study abroad, an internship or research project. Augie Choice funding, which recently surpassed the $1 million milestone, is a visible symbol of the college’s commitment to study abroad as a way of preparing students to stand out.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu