Monday, January 26, 2015

Studying abroad increasingly popular with college students

This past fall, Kaitie Devlin learned what it was like to live and study in a foreign country.

Devlin spent the semester in Brussels, Belgium, as part of the Global Experience Program offered at the University of Illinois Springfield, where Devlin is a junior communications major.

The university allows students to select where they would like to go.

"I chose Belgium because I am focused on being a journalist, and the International Programs at UIS recommended Belgium," Devlin said. "Belgium, especially Brussels, is really a gold mine for anyone trying to become a journalist because the city is filled with them."

It's interesting politically and it's worldly, she said, and as a reporter, there are "colorful pieces to cover all the time."

In recent years and with a more global society, studying abroad has become increasingly popular with college students across the United States. In the first issue of its White Paper series, which examined trends in American study abroad programs, the Institute of International Education found that in the 2004-05 academic year, 205,983 students took classes in another country.

That trend is evident at local colleges as well.

UIS began offering study abroad opportunities to its students 15 years ago. At the time, few students were interested. Now, the university is at "a plateau of about 50 to 60 students," said Jonathan GoldbergBelle, director of international programs.

Study abroad was spotlighted by The State Journal-Register on January 26, 2015.

Read the article online