Financial Strategies for Expanding Study Abroad: Models, Mission, Management, and Means for Growth

July 07, 2010 By: Margaret Heisel, Director, The Center for Capacity Building in Study Abroad, ed. Download pdf

Study abroad—as a component of campus internationalization— is growing rapidly. As an element of curriculum, international study is emerging as an important laboratory experience across the disciplines. As academic leaders look to the future, many are developing new models for study abroad, in new locations, integrating study abroad experiences into degree programs in all fields at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The first priority for any campus in achieving this goal is to build expansion plans that align with future development of curriculum and institutional mission. The current financial climate, however, dictates an equally important factor for institutional planning— financial feasibility. Expansion, when campus budgets are being cut, often means that students will shoulder a larger share of study abroad costs. Unfortunately, family budgets also have been affected by the economic downturn. This paper provides college and university leaders with a framework for expanding study abroad that ensures that students, particularly those from low-income and middle-class families, can enroll in affordable, high-quality programs.

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