Here at InterExchange, we strongly believe that every American should have the opportunity to go abroad. The personal and professional growth, and the development of communication, analytical, and problem solving skills, that come from living, working, and/or studying in another country are all vital to success in the 21st century global economy.
Yet currently, only 10 percent of American students study abroad. Even fewer Americans take part in a work, volunteer, or experiential learning program in another country. More action needs to be taken to encourage and provide opportunities for Americans to have substantive experiences abroad.
InterExchange is proud to have recently become a Commitment Partner to a campaign dedicated to this goal. The Generation Study Abroad (GSA) campaign is an initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE) with a goal to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by 2020. While the main focus of the campaign is on academic study abroad, it also greatly values and supports work, internship, and volunteer abroad (WIVA) programs. As a leading provider of WIVA programs, InterExchange is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with IIE to build awareness around the importance of, and the opportunities that exist through, non-credit experiential programs abroad.
Specifically, we will be supporting the GSA campaign by working to significantly expand the number of Americans we send abroad on our non-credit experiential programs, as well as expand the number of grants we provide via the InterExchange Foundation. We will work to determine how we can better serve American students at U.S. colleges and universities with our programs. We hope to engage and equip program alumni and our international Exchange Visitors here in the U.S. to help encourage more Americans to have a significant experiential or study program abroad.
Stay tuned for more on our work supporting the Generation Study Abroad campaign. You can follow the conversation on social media at #IEXculture and #GenerationStudyAbroad.