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IU ranks sixth nationally in number of study abroad students



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Senior Abel Craig stands Dec. 3 outside Franklin Hall. Craig participated in IU's study abroad program, which ranks sixth nationally. Izzy Myszak

IU ranks sixth among U.S. institutions in the number of students who study abroad, according to the 2019 Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange.

The Office of Overseas Study offers students hundreds of opportunities to travel and learn in countries across the world.  

Abel Craig, an IU senior studying community health, spent his summer at Khon Kaen University in Khon Kaen, Thailand, about 300 miles northeast of Bangkok. While studying in Thailand, Craig took classes focused on public health issues in southeast Asia and how to implement community health plans.

“This experience has made me more aware of the nuances in global culture and how it affects daily life in Thailand,” Craig said. 

Craig also spent time traveling to elephant sanctuaries, the Mekong River, national parks and Buddhist temples. 

In 2018, 3,044 IU Bloomington students studied abroad, an increase of more than 7% from previous years, according to an IU press release.

Increasing the number of students who study abroad is one of four major campaign priorities, according to the IU Bicentennial website. Funds for study abroad scholarships are being matched by IU President Michael McRobbie this year. In 2017, students received more than $4.5 million in dedicated gift aid, according to an IU press release. 

IU-Bloomington also admits a large population of study abroad students from other countries. According to the Open Doors Report, IUB received 6,872 study abroad students from 122 countries in 2017. 

Anna Lindsay from Adelaide, South Australia, is one of the study abroad students. Lindsay faced many adjustments when she came to Indiana. Living on her own is one of them. 

In Australia, few students move away to go to university. Instead, they often live with their parents and attend colleges in their hometown, Lindsay said. 

“I love the early-on independence the U.S. college system encourages,” she said.

Lindsay said the approach to homework is different in America. In Australia, 70-100% of your grade is based on exams only. 

“I do like the system though because it is a great marker of an interactive and engaging style of teaching and learning,” she said. 

Lindsay said she chose IU over other schools because she wanted to travel someplace she wouldn’t normally go.

“I really wanted a quintessential American college experience,” she said.

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