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IU president seeks more study abroad for students

November 17, 2014

Indiana University's president says he wants to see 40 percent of students at the Bloomington campus take part in study-abroad programs in the coming years.

Reaching that goal will be helped if IU can raise enough money to create 400 scholarships so that more low-income students can be included, university President Michael McRobbie told The Herald-Times.

"We don't have a huge number of programs that fund study abroad, so the majority are self-funded," he said.

About one-third of Bloomington campus students now travel to other countries to study, and McRobbie wants to reach the 40 percent level by the bicentennial of IU's founding in 2020.

"I've always made the point that my No. 1 priority when it comes to the internationalization of the university is to continue to increase the number of our students who study abroad," he said. "I think that is one of the singular most important components of an IU education."

McRobbie said he wants students to see and learn about the global environment that will be part of their careers — and to pick destinations more unique than his native Australia, places "where English isn't a first language," he said.

All the institutional relationships and establishment of alumni chapters in IU's 32 priority countries, as well as the university's establishment of offices in India and China, stem from the goal of more international exposure for students, he said.

IU offices aimed at recruiting more international students, and boosting interaction with graduates living overseas is also planned in Germany and Turkey, along with Africa and Southeast Asia. Those efforts abroad should include eventually include regional campuses, such as Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, he said.

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