CU-Boulder joins national pledge to double study abroad by 2020

The University of Colorado Boulder has pledged to double the number of CU-Boulder students who participate in an international educational experience by 2020.

The commitment, which will be implemented by CU-Boulder’s Study Abroad Programs office, is part of the Generation Study Abroad pledge launched today by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The goal nationally is to achieve a study abroad total of 600,000 U.S. participants by the end of the decade.

CU-Boulder sent 1,330 students overseas during the 2011-12 school year -- more than any other higher education institution in Colorado -- according to IIE’s most recent annual report.

“An increasingly important part of college is participation in global experiences,” said Larry Bell, executive director of CU-Boulder’s Office of International Education. “It enhances international collaboration and innovation while preparing future leaders to the benefit of CU-Boulder students, the community, the state and beyond. We’re proud to join colleges and universities across the country who share our international values, and help increase participation on a national scale.”

More than 150 higher education institutions from 41 U.S. states have signed the Generation Study Abroad commitment. CU-Boulder and Fort Lewis College in Durango currently are the only Colorado signatories.

To help meet the national goal, CU-Boulder pledges to: increase program access to traditionally underrepresented students; support academic units across campus as they develop their own initiatives; engage students early in their academic careers; and increase the visibility of international education opportunities including study abroad programs, international service-learning, internships and research, according to the Study Abroad Programs office.

CU-Boulder offers a large variety of study abroad programs and destinations for students of all academic fields.

“The definition of study abroad is expanding and now includes a number of international experiences that take place outside the classroom,” said Mary Dando, director of study abroad. “These include internships, research, field experiences, work abroad and service learning. The Office of International Education supports all such initiatives for our students.”

CU-Boulder has held the No. 1 spot in Colorado for sending and receiving international students for nine out of the past 10 years, according to CU-Boulder’s Office of International Education.

In his 2009 State of the Campus address, CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano laid out a goal to increase the number of study abroad students to half the undergraduate population as part of the Flagship 2030 plan.

For more information about CU-Boulder’s study abroad programs visit For more information about IIE’s Generation Study Abroad challenge visit

Mary Dando, CU-Boulder Study Abroad Programs, 303-492-2975
Elizabeth Lock, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-3117