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November 21, 2006

St. Olaf College ranks No. 1 in number of students who study abroad


St. Olaf College, an ELCA school in Northfield, Minn., retained its position as the No. 1 baccalaureate institution in the United States in both number and percentage of students who studied abroad in 2004-05, according to an Open Doors 2006 annual report. ELCA schools Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., ranked 7th on the list; Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, ranked 11th, and Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minn., came in 17th.

In 2004-05, 657 St. Olaf students studied abroad, participating in more than 120 International and Off-Campus Studies programs at universities in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Central America, North and South America, and Australia. Concordia College had 461 study-abroad students, Luther College had 430, and Gustavus Adolphus had 397.

The number of students studying abroad for academic credit increased by eight percent in 2004-05, bringing the total number to 205,983 students, according to Open Doors’ annual report on international education, which is published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“International study should be a part of every student’s education,” said Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of the IIE, noting that American students are increasingly studying in countries such as China and India, which can provide useful language and cultural skills for their future careers. “American colleges are providing more opportunities for students to have an international experience, and are beginning to address some of the barriers to participation in study abroad, in order to prepare their students to be global citizens,” Goodman said.

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