Study abroad applications increase from last year

Despite the rocky economic state worldwide, students continue to travel.

The number of student applicants studying abroad in summer of 2010 and the 2010-2011 academic year has increased by 41 percent. Study Abroad Director Barbara Lindeman said the increase is due to "increased emphasis on learning about other cultures and countries."

Study abroad applications for the next summer, fall and academic year are up 41 percent from this point last year, Study Abroad Director Barbara Lindeman said. Although the deadline passed Monday, the International Center is still receiving applications.

Lindeman said continued growth in study abroad participation is a concrete demonstration of commitment to obtaining a more global worldview.

"One of the things that the current economic downturn clearly has demonstrated is that the world's economies are inextricably connected," Lindeman said. "The fact that study abroad participation is continuing to increase in this economic climate demonstrates to me the high value that students and their parents place on gaining an understanding of people and cultures outside the U.S."

MU offers financial aid for students studying abroad based on the student's eligibility for aid and the cost of the particular study abroad program. Lindeman said the university offers both subsidized and unsubsidized loans as needed.

"Students who participate in MU supported study abroad programs in nearly all cases can apply all of their state, federal and institutional financial aid toward the cost of their study abroad programs," Lindeman said.

Senior Monica Germinario said she was able to study abroad through financial aid offered by the university.

"Money is definitely a deciding factor, but Mizzou helped make it affordable," Germinario said.

She also stressed the convenience of summer study abroad programs.

"Summer programs usually have one all-inclusive price and don't always require visas and other long-term expenses," Germinario said. "I think the increased number of summer program applicants reflects the economy."

According to the International Center Web site, the number of MU students studying abroad has increased every year since the 2001-2002 academic year.

Lindeman said the number of MU students who choose to study abroad has nearly tripled in the past decade. During 2008-2009, the most recent year for which numbers of study abroad participants have been reported, 1,094 MU students studied abroad.

"I believe that continued growth in study abroad participation is a concrete demonstration of commitment to obtaining a more global worldview, which will help students succeed in whatever career they choose," Lindeman said.

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