Despite national drop in study abroad, international education still a priority at Lynn

Published Sep. 22, 2009

Lynn University, a campus annually recognized for having one of the country’s highest concentrations of international students, continues to make international education a priority – on and off campus – despite a national drop in study abroad. In a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, Karin Fischer reported on the Forum on Education Abroad’s survey results, writing “for the first time in more than a decade, American colleges are reporting a drop in the number of students traveling overseas to study, and the economy is to blame.

Lynn students in Egypt during the inaugural J-term (January 2009)

At Lynn, the number of Lynn students studying abroad from 2008 through 2009 has remained consistent. This fall 20 Lynn students are studying abroad – a number that increased from 18 enrolled students for the spring 2009 semester, but fell from 22 enrolled students for the fall 2008 semester. Lynn’s Academic Programs Abroad range in length from a few weeks, to a semester or up to a full year. This term Lynn students are studying abroad on Semester at Sea (visiting more than a dozen countries), as well as in Spain, Italy, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, among other destinations.

The bulk of Lynn's study abroad experiences currently are not semester-long, but occur during the university's new January Term. During the inaugural J-term (January 2009), more than 170 Lynn students traveled overseas on faculty-led classes.

According to Fischer, “the financial crisis comes as education abroad has gained in prestige and popularity and as students and college leaders alike have come to believe there is value to having an international experience. Nearly two-thirds of colleges surveyed by the forum last fall now include international education in their mission statements.”

At Lynn, it isn't just those students studying abroad that gain access to an international education. In fact, it's engrained into the university's programs and curriculum. “We promote international education on campus through the global focus of our Dialogues of Learning undergraduate core curriculum and off campus through our Dialogues of Innovation January Term and semester-based programs in China, Ireland and Switzerland,” states Anna Krift, director of the Center for Global Education and Citizenship.  “Our Lynn 2020 Strategic Plan for the university affirms that travel abroad should continue to be widespread.”

“Our Dialogues of Learning undergraduate day core curriculum has an embedded global focus,” said Katrina Carter-Tellison, chair of Dialogues of Learning. Undergraduate students must complete four courses designated with a global focus.