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Pacific Ranked 14th in the Country for International Study Programs

Oct 1, 2010

The Institute of International Education this month ranked Pacific as one of the best institutions in the United States for students interested in studying overseas. The ranking appeared in the annual report "Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange," released Nov. 15 by the Institute of International Education with funding from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The ranking was based results submitted from about 1,000 U.S. Colleges. The study measured the number of undergraduates each institution sent overseas to study along with the number of international students who enroll at those institutions.

"Pacific deeply values the unique learning experience study abroad offers," said Patrick Ferrillo, interim provost at Pacific. "At SIS students are required to go overseas for at least a semester. Other majors are increasingly embracing the need to understand other cultures and ideas in order to be successful global citizens in the future: business, engineering, liberal arts, education, the dental and law schools, to name a few. The trend at Pacific is expected to continue upward."

The report listed Pacific as the 14th best doctorate-granting institution in the United States for students interested in studying abroad, having sent 98 students overseas in the 2008-2009 academic year. As the report noted, that was seven more students than University of California at Berkeley sent during the same year, an institution that has nearly seven times as many students as Pacific.

Overall, the study said 260,327 students studied abroad for credit during the 2008-2009 academic year, a slight dip from the previous year. However, the report found that there were notable increases in the number of U.S. students going to study in less traditional destinations. Fifteen of the top 25 destinations were outside of Western Europe and nineteen were countries where English is not a primary language. The country that saw the greatest increase in U.S. students studying there was China, with a 19 percent increase from the previous academic year.

 The study also reported an increase of 37% in the number of students participating in practical work experiences as part of their study abroad, with 18,715 students now receiving academic credit at U.S. colleges and universities for internships or work abroad.

The increased interest among Pacific students in studying overseas during and beyond their undergraduate years has also increased the number of applications for highly competitive national scholarships, said Susan Weiner, Pacific's fellowship advisor. This year, seven students applied for the prestigious Fulbright scholarship, which funds a post-baccalaureate year of original research or teaching English in other countries. 

Last year, Benjamin Alldritt (School of Engineering) was awarded a Fulbright to conduct research in Finland.  Last year as well, six Pacific students applied for a US State Department Boren Scholarship for intensive study of  "critical need" languages such as Chinese and Arabic.  Two of the six were granted the award, both to study in Beijing.  Pacific's success rate is better than the national average, according to Boren Assistant Director Susan Sharp. 

The "Open Doors" report is published by the Institute of International Education, the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the United States. IIE has conducted an annual statistical survey of the international students in the United States since 1919 and with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since the early 1970s. The census is based on a survey of approximately 3,000 accredited U.S. institutions. "Open Doors" also reports on surveys on international scholars at U.S. universities; international students enrolled in pre-academic Intensive English Programs; and on U.S. students studying abroad (since 1985).

To see this year's rankings or to learn more about the Institute of International Education, visit