CU Boulder Students Go Global in a Big Way

CU alumnus (Kelly Fish) studying abroad in Uganda while an anthropology/political science major at CU-Boulder. Photo courtesy of CU-Boulder.

It’s a done deal: Our economy and the world we live in are ‘global’ forevermore. No wonder CU-Boulder has developed programs that put on-location international study at their students’ fingertips.

Today, every CU-Boulder student is encouraged to study abroad for at least one semester, like CU alumnus Kelly Fish did, pictured above in Uganda while studying abroad as an anthropology/political science major at CU-Boulder.

Students and parents are introduced to the value and opportunity of studying abroad early on–beginning with new student orientation.

As the parent of an incoming freshman attending orientation in June, I learned how CU-Boulder’s Study Abroad program has worked to put this goal within the financial reach of more students. For example:

  • The cost of the Study Abroad semester replaces the semester’s tuition—instead of being added to it;
  • Program costs include transportation, housing, visa costs, and tuition at the institution abroad; and
  • Students can study abroad and still achieve graduation requirements within four years.

By the numbers, CU’s Study Abroad program is way out in front of the national average—by more than eight times. Currently, about 25% of CU students participate in at least one study abroad program, in contrast to the national average of 2-3%.

CU Leeds School of Business Study Abroad:  100% Global

In keeping with the progressive vision of CU Leeds School of Business, Leeds’ goal is for 100% of its students to complete at least one study abroad session.

“We believe that in today’s world of increased mobility, globally aware students have more choices for employment upon graduation and are immediately ready to contribute in global environments,” says the Leeds’ website.

Opportunities for Leeds students to study abroad begin in freshman year with a short academic trip. In 2014, students went to Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, or UK/Ireland. Scholarships were available and federal and state financial aid could be used.

Most students study abroad in a semester long session during first semester junior year. According to CU-Boulder’s study abroad advisers, students need to start planning in the first semester of their sophomore year and maintain a GPA of at least a 2.5, with some programs requiring a 3.0.

Advisers want to make it clear: Study abroad is not a ruse for taking a great trip to a faraway land.  The emphasis of ‘study abroad’ is on ‘study.’ The return for the student is a meaningful global experience and opportunity to learn about a specific subject from the point of view of another country—invaluable in today’s global economy and worldwide operations.

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