International Educator - March/April 2017 - 52

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EDUCATION ABROAD
By Dana Wilkie

Supporting Education Abroad for
Underrepresented Students
They don't have the money. They can't afford the time off from work. They have family obligations. They've never applied for a passport. They've never been on a plane.

There is a
growing
effort among
schools,
nonprofits,
businesses,
and other
entities to
make sure
the students
who do go
abroad better
reflect the
nation's
college
campuses.

52  

All are reasons that LaNitra Berger has heard from
minority and other underrepresented students for why
they can't study abroad. As director of fellowships in
George Mason University's Honors College, it's Berger's
job to show students that what they consider obstacles
to studying overseas may not be obstacles at all.
While people of color make up about 40 percent of
graduating colleges classes in the United States, they
comprise just a quarter of those who study abroad,
according to the nonprofit Institute of International
Education. The numbers are especially low for Latino
and black students: just 8.3 percent of Hispanic undergraduates and 5.6 percent of black undergraduates
study abroad, according to a Council on International
Educational Exchange report.
"It isn't that they don't want to go abroad," says
Berger, an African American who calls her own study
abroad experiences in Paris and Berlin "transformative."
"It's just that there are so many other competing priorities. Sometimes they're working 40 hours while going to
school. Sometimes they're living at home, have significant family responsibilities, and it's hard to leave their
family to go abroad. Sometimes, they just don't have the
right advising."
So there is a growing effort among schools, nonprofits, businesses, and other entities to make sure the
students who do go abroad better reflect the nation's
college campuses.
Why encourage underrepresented students to study
abroad? For starters, graduation rates tend to be higher
for students who have been abroad, especially for lowincome and minority students, according to a report
by the University System of Georgia. In addition, many
college degree programs require study abroad experience. For instance, San Diego State University has more

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R + A P R .17

than 32 major and minor programs that require study
abroad or international experience, says Aaron Bruce,
chief diversity officer at San Diego State.

Addressing Costs
Underrepresented students sometimes see cost as their
biggest barrier. Often tuition and other expenses are the
same as if they stayed home, but study abroad programs
can require substantial upfront costs not covered by
financial aid, which is typically not released until days
before classes start. Students need passports, airfare,
and program deposits. They may need vaccines.
At Butler University, the Institute for Study Abroad
approaches these upfront costs with its First Generation
Scholarship program, which covers program deposits,
passport fees, and airfares.
"Our financial programs . . . were constructed to
release funding when cost-conscious students need it,
to increase access to study abroad," says Margaret S.
McCullers, the institute's associate director for academic and special projects. "Students who participate
in our UpFront billing program can have their airfare
covered and program fees deferred until financial aid
comes in. Students who save money early in our Fill the
GAP [Global Account Program] can have early savings
matched up to $1,000 so they are able to cover these
upfront costs."
Lorie Paulez, director of education abroad at the
Georgia Institute of Technology, found it fruitful to
work with her alumni relations and development office.
"We reached out to alumni and now have one alum
who donated some funds to our office so we could provide study abroad scholarships," she says. "Preference is
given to multicultural students who wouldn't be able to
study abroad without funding."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Global Spotlight Cuba
Insights
Voices
Feature: Lay of the Land: What Now?
Feature: Finding Common Ground through Art Therapy
Feature: Empowering Refugees Through Education
Campus Profile: New York Institute of Technology
Campus Snapshot: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
Partnering
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 1
International Educator - March/April 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Global Spotlight Cuba
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Insights
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Voices
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 13
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Lay of the Land: What Now?
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 18
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 22
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Finding Common Ground through Art Therapy
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 28
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Empowering Refugees Through Education
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 38
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Campus Profile: New York Institute of Technology
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 40
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 42
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 44
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 46
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Campus Snapshot: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 48
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 49
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 50
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 51
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 53
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 54
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 55
International Educator - March/April 2017 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 57
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 58
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 59
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Partnering
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 61
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 62
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 63
International Educator - March/April 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 65
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 66
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 67
International Educator - March/April 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover4
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