“We’re really engaging institutional leadership at the top,” said Marlene M. Johnson, executive director and CEO of NAFSA. “The premise of this report is that study abroad is an integral part of the academic program. It should not be treated as an accessory, and therefore it does require institutional commitment, both organizationally and financially.”
The report from NAFSA’s Task Force on Institutional Management of Study Abroad cites the rapid recent growth in study abroad – with the number of Americans studying abroad for credit increasing from 84,000 to more than 220,000 in the past decade. Amid that growth, the task force notes that “higher education institutions vary substantially in the degree to which they have committed to the advancement of study abroad as part of their internationalization efforts.”
“Most, if not all, institutions express support for the idea of study abroad, but for some there is a gap between words of support and the actual student experience,” the report notes.